Pressure on Hospitals in Australia After Explosive Increase in Infections
Pressure on Australian hospitals is mounting as the number of corona infections in the country has exploded. Especially in the densely populated states of New South Wales and Victoria, many people with Covid-19 are in hospitals.
The country of 25 million inhabitants reported more than 64,700 new infections on Wednesday, almost 17,000 more than a day earlier. Compared to November, that is a significant increase when between 1000 and 1500 infections were detected daily.
More than half of Wednesday’s reports come from New South Wales, including Sydney. There are now almost 1500 corona patients in hospitals. According to ABC News reports, regional Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said there has been “significant pressure” on hospitals. He expects a “significant escalation” in the number of infections and admissions in the coming weeks.
In New South Wales, according to The Guardian, staff shortages have arisen in many hospitals because 2,500 employees are in isolation. The newspaper reports that employees are still being called upon to come to work after a positive test at a number of locations, despite this being contrary to government policy.
The hospitals in Victoria are also busy so that non-urgent care can only be provided to a limited extent. In addition, the ambulance service in the state is so overwhelmed that there are warnings about delays. The rapid spread of the coronavirus, caused by the omikron variant, has also led to long waiting times at test streets in Australia and a shortage of self-tests.
Australia has been dealing with record numbers of infections since mid-December. Earlier in the pandemic, the country managed to keep the coronavirus at bay with strict travel restrictions and short lockdowns. After a slow start to the vaccination campaign, nearly 92 percent of all residents aged 16 and older have now been fully vaccinated.