COVID-19

Elective surgery pause on the cards; cases yet to peak

As of Thursday 1609 people are in hospital battling the virus, including 131 being cared for in intensive care.NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet flagged the measure could soon be reintroduced, telling 2GB that officials were looking into it.“We monitor the hospital system every single day … that is certainly something we’re looking at now, it may happen just like it’s happened earlier this year and last year,” Mr Perrottet said.“There’s obviously significant pressure on the system … we believe we will be certainly getting through this but we need to make some changes, I would expect, on elective surgery and I would also expect in terms of our work with the private health system, in managing as we go through these increases the cases.”Mr Perrottet also rubbished calls to extend the summer school holidays to protect children from catching the virus in the classroom.“I‘m incredibly passionate about getting kids back in school day one, term one,” he said.“In terms of living alongside the virus, there are challenges that are going to that are going to come our way but when I became premier last year, we moved forward that day to get kids back in the classroom as early as possible and that is really, really important.”The Premier also revealed which community members would receive the first rapid antigen tests from an order of 50 million placed by the state government, with the first batch set to arrive next week.“We will be distributing them obviously in conjunction with the Commonwealth Government … potentially in testing centres and vaccination hubs,” Mr Perrottet said.“We also see a significant role of those rapid antigen tests being provided in areas such as our schools for our teachers, and other frontline staff.”“I think that will certainly start to ease the queues for the PCR tests.”It comes as Christmas and festive season gatherings are seeing NSW’s Covid numbers continue to spike higher, according to a top medical expert- and the Omicron outbreak isn’t the last wave we’ll see this year. NSW recorded 34,994 cases and six deaths on Thursday following 35,054 new infections and eight deaths on Wednesday, which jumped almost 12,000 higher than Tuesday’s figures.Infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon told The Today Show on Thursday he wasn’t “confident” NSW had reached the peak of Covid infections- and it was all down to our antics over the silly season.“I think that we have a week or two to go (to reach the peak),” Prof Collignon said.“This is because all of the people getting together before Christmas, at Christmas, Christmas to New Year.”Prof Collignon added that when the decline in cases came, it would only take “five to 10 days” for numbers to drop significantly.But he warned cases would likely rise again once the seasons change.“I would be optimistic it will come down. It won’t go down to zero, but it will plateau and kick up in winter,” he said.“July, August, that is when this virus spreads more rapidly as is happening now in the Northern Hemisphere … but provided you’re vaccinated it is not the end of the world, most people will have very mild infections and get better after a day or two.” NAT – Stay Informed – Social Media

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