Additional support is needed to strengthen Australia’s healthcare system as it struggles to cope with COVID-19 amid skyrocketing Omicron cases, warns the Australian Medical Association.
AMA President Omar Khorshid said with more people than ever before in the hospital because of COVID-19 that the system “leaned on individuals … without providing the necessary support”.
In the video above, the WHO says that Omicron appears to cause milder symptoms
“So elective surgery has now ceased along the east coast … thousands of HCWs (health workers) are not at work … more in the hospital with COVID than ever before, and the top Omicron is weeks away? This is our health system ‘coping’ , ” Dr. Khorshid wrote on Twitter.
He said GPs and private doctors “need help to help the rest of us”, and called for restored telecommunications access, faster antigen testing and funding to help doctors meet COVID-19 demand.
Dr. Khorshid said “proper investment” was needed in public hospitals so they could handle increases in demand.
The death toll rose from Omicron spread
A total of 20 deaths have been recorded in NSW and Victoria as new COVID-19 cases continue to rise as a result of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
NSW recorded a further 30,062 coronavirus cases and its highest number of deaths since the pandemic began with 16 deaths.
Victoria posted a further 44,155 new infections and four deaths, and Tasmania reported 1406 new cases.
Queensland reported 11,174 cases on Saturday, announcing suspension of non-urgent elective surgery for eight weeks.
South Australia has not yet delivered its daily COVID-19 update on Sunday, but the state registered 4274 new cases on Saturday – an increase from 3707 the day before.
But while the daily infection rate is staggering compared to the impact of previous variants, Health Secretary Greg Hunt said serious illness has been relatively low.
“We have seen very low incidences of significant disease, as shown by the fact that about half a million cases over the last month we have seen the number of people on ventilation go from 54 to 76 since December 15,” Hunt told journalists. in Canberra on Sunday via video link.
“So it’s very encouraging.”
Fortunately, Deputy Chief Physician Michael Kidd said that most people in Australia aged 12 and over have been vaccinated with at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and this has changed the severity of the infection for many people.
But he warned with the rising case numbers seen over the past week in many parts of the country that it is likely that many people will test positive for COVID-19 over the coming days and weeks.
“If we are infected with COVID-19, many of us will have no symptoms at all, some of us will have mild symptoms that can be managed at home, and a very small number of us will require medical attention or hospitalization,” he told reporters. . .
As such, he urged people to be prepared at home with a supply of paracetamol or ibuprofen and have plenty of fluids on hand if they attract the virus.
“It’s important to be prepared because you will not be able to go to your supermarket or pharmacy if you are diagnosed with COVID-19,” said Professor Kidd.
Twenty-five people died across Australia from COVID-19 during the reporting period to Saturday morning, while those newly diagnosed with the virus included former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Turnbull’s announcement followed Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s positive diagnosis on Friday.
As the situation worsens, the federal government said workers testing positive for COVID-19 via RAT could access disaster payments for pandemic leave of up to $ 750 from Monday.
The move follows concerns about RAT shortages and retail increases of more than 20 percent above the supply price as demand for home test kits escalates.