Categories: Australia

Covid wave could force Australians to wear masks as Perth hospital closes over outbreak

A busy hospital has been forced to close its ward over a Covid outbreak, as health fanatics argue Australians are not worried enough about the new wave of virus.

Peel Health Campus, in south Perth, temporarily closed the general ward on Friday after four patients and six staff members tested positive.

Infected staff were ordered to go home and isolate themselves for seven days while their colleagues undergo regular Covid testing.

The Western Australian health official, Dr Andy Robertson, has not ruled out a reduction in restrictions for the holiday season.

NSW chief health officer Dr. Kerry Chant added that the fourth Covid wave “started with a certain trajectory”.

Peel Health Campus, in south Perth, temporarily closed the general ward on Friday after four patients and six staff members tested positive for the virus

“[Making]face masks mandatory is something we would consider,” said Dr Robertson.

‘There are always options that we can look at, for example if we get a variant that is much more serious or if many more people become seriously unwell.

“Of course there are options to consider, but at this stage we strongly encourage isolation, wearing masks (around vulnerable people) and of course staying home (if they are not feeling well).”

But some experts argue that more needs to be done and warned that Australians have become too complacent about the pandemic.

A ‘fourth wave’ of the virus is gaining momentum and some health experts want restrictions, including mandatory face masks, to return just when Australians thought they were gone for good.

In some states, cases skyrocketed by as much as 80 percent, while the BQ.1 and XBB Covid strains were rampant.

It comes as Australians have been warned they have become too complacent about the pandemic as the fourth wave of the virus gains traction and experts are calling for restrictions to be reintroduced, including mandatory face masks (stock image)

Burnet Institute director Professor Brendan Crabb fired off a series of tweets saying more needs to be done by federal and state governments.

“Clarity from above is essential because (Australians) think it’s over and don’t know how much suffering and disruption can be averted with simple actions,” he wrote.

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He added in another tweet: ‘Even without a wave, (it’s) probably half a million plus Covid by the end of the year, 20,000 plus long will get Covid and over 1,000 people will die. With this wave it gets even worse. Vax, please mask, test and vent.’

Professor Crabb joined a group of researchers studying the long-term effects of the virus and co-authored a study warning about its harmful effects.

“(These may) have effects on the lungs, heart, brain and immune system,” they wrote on The Conversation.

Chief Health Officer of Western Australia, Dr. Andy Robertson, has not ruled out some restrictions returning before the holidays (stock image)

Twelve months after infection, the risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and other complications, including sudden death, is about double compared to people who have never been infected.

“Chronic complications can occur even after a mild infection, including heart failure, stroke and dementia.”

Deakin University chair of epidemiology Catherine Bennett said that unlike last year when there was one dominant form of Covid, several were now rampant.

“The big difference between this Christmas and the last is that the virus is now circulating in the community,” she said.

“We only started opening around this time last year. The other difference is that we now have multiple variants, and we haven’t really had that in the community.

“It’s usually a dominant variant or two outbreaks where one is under control before the other takes off.”

Face mask mandates are one of the restrictions that could return as the fourth wave of Covid increases

Many residents may have moved on mentally with the pandemic just as health experts are sounding the alarm that the final wave before Christmas will get worse.

Ramsay Health Care said its hospitals had taken precautions to prevent the spread of Covid outbreaks.

Peel Health Campus employees are regularly tested while their infected colleagues are sent home for isolation.

“Peel Health Campus has strict infection control policies, practices and protocols and patients known to have Covid when admitted to hospital are treated accordingly,” she said.

Jacky

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