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Why hospitals are full of Covid patients even though Omicron IS less severe Australia

Experts have criticized the federal government for “painting a rosy picture” of the new Omicron variant for being less severe than Delta — as hospitals across the country continue to fill up due to the high number of people infected.

Australia saw a record 47,738 new infections on Tuesday, the largest combined figure the country has seen so far during the pandemic.

dr. Stephen Parnis, a Melbourne emergency physician, said that although the new strain was less severe, the rising number of cases means a significant number of people will still be hospitalized.

“I’m concerned about the government’s response if it paints too rosy a picture,” he told The Project.

“I don’t think the health system in New South Wales is strong and strong. I think it faces challenges that I have never seen in my life. We have to be honest to maintain people’s trust.’

Why hospitals are full of Covid patients even though Omicron

Experts have criticized the government for “painting a rosy picture” on the new Omicron variant for being less severe than Delta – as hospitals and ICUs across the country are packed (pictured, a man at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney in the ICU)

A nurse shared her horror story as she worked through Australia's latest Covid wave as the Omicron variant rips across the country

A nurse shared her horror story as she worked through Australia's latest Covid wave as the Omicron variant rips across the country

A nurse shared her horror story as she worked through Australia’s latest Covid wave as the Omicron variant rips across the country

NSW alone has seen hospital admissions surpass any previous point during the pandemic, but ICU cases remain well below the wave of the more severe Delta variant.

But dr. Parnis said that because Omicron is “spreading like wildfire,” the pressure on testing clinics and community health care has increased, rather than in intensive care units.

Many staff members are also being forced to isolate themselves after either discovering Covid or being considered close contact, putting pressure on the already exhausted workers.

“Things like ambulance calls, times to be seen in emergencies. Inevitably, the longer those times last, the greater the chance of an adverse outcome, something like avoidable death,” said Dr. parnis.

You can’t redefine an existing problem or minimize its impact. We have a rough few weeks ahead of us, but I take comfort in the fact that we as a nation have endured some nasty waves over the past two years.

“We’ll get through this if we follow some careful, sensible instructions and don’t look at who to blame.”

dr.  Stephen Parnis (pictured), an emergency physician, said although the new strain was less severe, the sheer number of cases means a significant number of people will still be hospitalized

dr.  Stephen Parnis (pictured), an emergency physician, said although the new strain was less severe, the sheer number of cases means a significant number of people will still be hospitalized

dr. Stephen Parnis (pictured), an emergency physician, said although the new strain was less severe, the sheer number of cases means a significant number of people will still be hospitalized

Other frontline workers responded to the nurse's post, saying they too experienced similar conditions

Other frontline workers responded to the nurse's post, saying they too experienced similar conditions

Other frontline workers responded to the nurse’s post, saying they too experienced similar conditions

More than 2,000 health workers in NSW are positive or areolating themselves as a result of close contacts, forcing those who are still able to work in heavy duty shifts.

Many have taken to social media to share their stories of working 18 hours without a break to even drink water.

‘Words from an emergency room nurse. 6 hours. COVID cardiac arrest. I’m exhausted. I haven’t had a drink of water in 18 hours. I can’t do this anymore,” a woman named Rachel wrote on Twitter.

‘Now there is not enough staff for the day shift. We can’t cover the department.

‘I am beyond angry with what is happening to ICU nurses. furious. Angry. That the institutions of government policy crush them, leave them in tears, leaving them. They break.’

Other frontline workers responded to the nurse’s post, saying they too were facing similar circumstances.

‘I’m in a drug rehab ward and we’re also working with a deficiency. We have resorted to bringing in staff who worked last night until 7am this morning to get to work from 3pm this afternoon. Now we have to try and cover their night shift tonight,” a woman replied.

‘I work in a maternity ward, so many women Covid-positive on weekends, midwives out with Covid, concerned phone calls from pregnant women with positive RATs. There’s so much more I can’t talk about,” said another woman.

Australia saw a record 47,738 new infections on Tuesday, the largest combined figure the country has seen so far during the pandemic (pictured, staff at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney)

Australia saw a record 47,738 new infections on Tuesday, the largest combined figure the country has seen so far during the pandemic (pictured, staff at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney)

Australia saw a record 47,738 new infections on Tuesday, the largest combined figure the country has seen so far during the pandemic (pictured, staff at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney)

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dr. Parnis said a lot of tax could be immediately removed from the health care system if rapid antigen testing were subsidized by the federal government.

“Let’s stop playing games about the cost of rapid antigen testing,” he said.

“If we continue with this nonsense that people have to pay to access these RAT tests, we will see a disproportionate number of people getting sick in the suburbs of low socioeconomic status and that is the last thing we want in Australia.

“We haven’t managed the pandemic that way at any point in the past two years and we shouldn’t be starting it now.”

The UK government has been sending free rapid tests to people's homes since April, but the prime minister has refused to adopt a similar model in Australia over fears of the cost (pictured, a test at Sydney's Randwick)

The UK government has been sending free rapid tests to people's homes since April, but the prime minister has refused to adopt a similar model in Australia over fears of the cost (pictured, a test at Sydney's Randwick)

The UK government has been sending free rapid tests to people’s homes since April, but the prime minister has refused to adopt a similar model in Australia over fears of the cost (pictured, a test at Sydney’s Randwick)

Pharmacy warehouse chief Mario Tascone told 2GB Radio Monday morning that the government should at least try to remove the GST from the tests if they don’t pay for it right away.

“I’m sure they can use Zoom and have an emergency session of parliament because the idea that the government is making 10 percent on millions and millions of packages on the sale of rapid antigen tests is really wrong,” he said.

There have been reports of rapid tests costing as much as $100 per unit as Covid cases skyrocket across Australia due to the rise of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

The Chemist Warehouse director said the demand for RATs was “unprecedented,” similar to toilet paper hoarding at the start of the pandemic, and said dropping GST would bring immediate results.

“They’re going to be 10 percent cheaper overnight, we’re going to lower the price, it’s not much, but that five dollar pack of five is going to be $45 overnight,” he said.

‘So they can do that right away, apparently a parliamentary session is needed.’

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