Minister for Health Greg Hunt has addressed the media with updates on the Coronavirus pandemic in Australia.
- Using 4.1m of funding, we will support and fund 20,000 free treatments and free online courses for existing nurses to bring them up to ICU capacity. This will be up and running by the 9th of April. This is the nurses choice if they want to do this.
- We are also supporting registered nurses to come back into the workforce. 3000 nurses have already volunteered, and this is growing each and every day.
- The medical board are looking to also bring back doctors into the workforce.
The national strategy is to bring the curve down and reduce the number, using a series of measures, as well as increasing the capacity of healthcare facilities available.
Two weeks ago we had 25-30% daily increases on cases, which then dropped to low teens over the last week, then in the last number of days, it dropped again to below 10%, to single figures, in regards to daily increasing infections. These are early, cautious, but verifiable signs that we are beginning to flatten the curve.
This is because of 4 reasons:
- We’ve built a ring of steel around Australia on our borders. Limiting those who come in. Buffering those with quarantine measures etc.
- Testing. 261,000 tests done to date. The first time for anyone to date, with over 1000 tests for 100,000 of the population.
- That testing which has seen just below 2% positive, means we have one of the best rates of analysis happening, which allows us to contract trace, and keep out loss of life down. 23 lives lost to date, but it’s well under 1% of the known cases, which makes it one of the lowest rates in the world.
- Social isolation, and distancing measures.
Going forwards we are also expanding our care in aged care facilities, and looking at rolling out flu vaccines in those facilities.
More to come.
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