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Two Victorians who died of COVID-19 revealed as cancer patients

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 27/03/2020 Chanel Zagon

Video provided by AAP

The first two Victorians to die of coronavirus were cancer patients at The Alfred hospital and completely unaware they had the deadly disease.

The two men, both aged in their 70s, who died on Wednesday night were patients in the oncology ward at the inner south-east Melbourne hospital.

Two other patients at the hospital have since been infected with COVID-19, as well as three haematology and oncology ward staff.

a close up of a sign: A view of the COVID-19 clinic at The Alfred hospital. © Getty A view of the COVID-19 clinic at The Alfred hospital. a group of men standing in front of a store: There has been an outbreak of coronavirus at The Alfred hospital. © Getty There has been an outbreak of coronavirus at The Alfred hospital.

Outbreak fears have sparked testing of medical workers at the hospital, with more than 80 staff believed to have since taken tests.

In pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world

It remains unclear how many patients have been tested.

The Alfred hospital has launched an investigation, including contact tracing, to identify the source of transmission.

"This situation highlights how devastating the virus can be for vulnerable patients," Alfred Health chief executive Prof Andrew Way said.

"I urge the community to follow health advice and to self-isolate if they're unwell. We need to act now to protect those at risk in our community."

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