Western Australia records two new cases of Covid-19, upgrades travel risk for ACT and Tasmania
Staff shortages due to Covid and a “high number of people” with mild symptoms presenting to hospital and requesting a test are putting “excessive pressure” on three Melbourne hospitals, according to its administrators.
In a statement that follows a social media post issued earlier on Monday, Suellen Bruce, an executive director at Western Health, called on the community to “avoid presenting to its emergency departments, unless it is absolutely necessary”.
As previously reported here, emergency departments facing “extremely high levels of demand and a range of additional pressures” included Sunshine, Footscray and Williamstown Hospital.
A range of factors have led to the excessive pressure: significant staff shortages due to Covid; a high number of people with mild Covid symptoms presenting seeking a Covid test; the typical high demand during a public holiday period; and limited available beds within our hospitals (in part due to furloughing of staff).
If we could ask the community to please not visit our emergency departments with mild Covid symptoms seeking a PCR or rapid test. Instead please visit one of the many testing sites across Melbourne.
Obtaining rapid antigen tests over the next two weeks is likely to remain “bumpy” across Australia as supply chain issues cause shortages and price spikes.
The distribution of tests is “still being worked out with the government”, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has said.
The guild’s national president, Trent Twomey, said price rises were “coming from distributors and manufacturers who are paying extra to get stock to Australia, even chartering jets to get supplies here. Those costs are being passed on.”