Death toll climbs as ACT reports first victim

The Australian Capital Territory has recorded its first COVID-19 death, bringing the national death toll to 18.

The victim is a woman in her 80s who acquired the disease overseas, and died over the weekend at the Canberra Hospital.

"My thoughts are with the family and friends of this person through such a difficult time," said chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman.

"This is the very sad reality of this disease, which is seeing the elderly at an increased risk of complications from COVID-19.

"It is why we need everyone to take the social distancing measures we are implementing seriously. We need everyone to stay at home where possible, to practice good hygiene and to keep at least 1.5 metres away from others.

"These measures will give us the best chance to slow the spread of this disease and protect our most vulnerable. This is particularly important as we will continue to see the number of cases increase and local transmission start to occur in the ACT."

Australia's capital has recorded one new confirmed case in the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 78.

The new case is a female in her 30s, who has been linked to overseas travel.

There are two cases still under investigation by ACT Health.