New South Wales has recorded 1220 new community Covid-19 cases and eight Covid-related deaths today, as hospital staff grow increasingly anxious about the surge to come.
Hundreds of ICU nurses across NSW have signed an open letter to Premier Gladys Berejiklian warning the hospital system is “in crisis” and staff are stretched to their limit.
“Given the chronic unsafe staffing conditions, exacerbated by Covid-19, we cannot deliver the care you expect us to provide and the level of critical care our patients rightly deserve,” the letter says.
The warning follows confirmation that NSW hospitals may be forced to set up makeshift ICU wards in surgical operating theatres and require staff to care for more than one ICU patient at a time.
The number of Covid patients in ICUs is expected to triple in the coming weeks.
The deaths reported today were an unvaccinated woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions; an unvaccinated man in his 90s with underlying health conditions; an unvaccinated man in his 50s; a vaccinated man in his 90s; an unvaccinated woman in her 70s; an unvaccinated man in his 70s; an unvaccinated man in his 80s; and a man in his 60s who died at home and had had one vaccine dose.
There are 1151 Covid patients in NSW hospitals – 192 in intensive care, 75 of whom require ventilation.
NSW yesterday recorded 1281 new local Covid cases and five deaths.
Despite the state’s uncontrolled Delta outbreak, Berejiklian has doubled down on plans to ease restrictions once the state has reached 70 per cent vaccinated.
She told reporters today a peak in numbers wouldn’t affect that plan.
“There’s no doubt there’s challenges ahead. But this is the strategy that we know will see NSW through this difficult period,” she said.
“This is part of the challenge of living with Covid and part of the challenge that every state has to go through.”
A teenage Covid-19 patient is hooked up to a ventilator in Victoria, as the state records another 246 new local cases.
Of the cases reported today, 90 were linked to known cases and outbreaks and the remainder were under investigation.
It’s the same number of daily cases as Monday, with 246 being the biggest daily figure since August last year.
Premier Daniel Andrews said of the 110 Victorians in hospital, the youngest patient on a ventilator was just 17 and the oldest was 76.
“And there are people in their 40s, 50s and 60s in between, so anyone can fall ill to this,” he told reporters.
“That’s why we all have to work so hard and that’s why it’s so impressive so many Victorians are doing the right thing to limit the spread of this virus.”
About 60.75 per cent of Victorians have received the first dose of the vaccine.
State officials have flagged Covid-19 restrictions could ease once that figure reaches 70 per cent, which could be as soon as September 19.
The ACT has recorded 19 new Covid cases overnight.
Just 11 were in isolation for their entire infectious period.
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