Breaking: Three people aged in their 30s are on ventilators in Sydney hospitals as of this morning.

New numbers released this morning also showed one in three new Coronavirus cases were people under the age of 29.

The death toll in NSW has risen to 16 Sunday.

In a press conference today, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said four more people in the state he passed away, including three from the Ruby Princess Cruise ship.

The victims were four men, a 91-year-old from Port Macquarie, an 80-year-old and a 76-year-old who were both being treated at Westmead and a 61-year-old being treated at Hornsby Hospital, NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty confirmed. 

To date there have been 342 confirmed cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in NSW in passengers who all acquired their infection while on, or in some cases, possibly before boarding the Ruby Princess cruise.

The ship left Sydney in early March for a cruise around New Zealand. It returned with dozens of people sick on board later that month.

There were 87 new cases of COVID-19 in the state in the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s total to 2580.

Mr Hazzard plead for people in NSW, particularly those in younger age groups, to take the threat of the virus seriously.

Meanwhile our social distancing and lockdown measures may be working.

“The last few days we have seen numbers bounce around without escalating at the same level as we have seen before, so we are hopeful that we are starting to flatten the curve. But there is more work to be done, and it is important that we all heed those messages,” NSW Health’s director of health protection, Jeremy McAnulty.

578 acquired locally from a known confirmed case or cluster, and 380 locally acquired but without direct contact with a known case or cluster, and 56 remain under investigation.

McAnulty notes that the “biggest single age group is people in their 20s”. “And in fact, we have seen also three people who were ventilated in intensive care in their 30s.”

Video: Press conference Sunday morning in Sydney led by NSW Health Minister.

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