•   
  •   

Australia Hopes Victoria's preparedness could enable hospitals to cope with influx

21:28  27 march  2020
21:28  27 march  2020 Source:   theage.com.au

Turkey's Erdogan discusses Syria, refugees with European leaders

  Turkey's Erdogan discusses Syria, refugees with European leaders Convergence on Idlib fighting but on refugees 'a number of clarifications' by the Europeans from Turkey's president.The four-party video conference that involved French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson came after Turkey decided last month to reopen its border for refugees trying to reach Europe.

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: A story on how the COVID virus is likely to peak in Victoria and whether our hospital system has the capacity to deal with it.  Suited up COVID specialist medical staff at Sunshine Hospital, which is a focal point of the state's COVID planning. Seen here Uyen Nguyen , Lena Pejcinovski and Shabnam Tawfi (left to Right) .Photo by Jason South. 27th March 2020 © Jason South A story on how the COVID virus is likely to peak in Victoria and whether our hospital system has the capacity to deal with it. Suited up COVID specialist medical staff at Sunshine Hospital, which is a focal point of the state's COVID planning. Seen here Uyen Nguyen , Lena Pejcinovski and Shabnam Tawfi (left to Right) .Photo by Jason South. 27th March 2020

On the frontline of war against COVID-19, there is cautious optimism that in Victoria, the public embrace of social distancing and a doubling of intensive care capacity across the health system will enable our hospitals to cope with the peak of the coronavirus.

Government talked AFL out of delaying season: McGuire

  Government talked AFL out of delaying season: McGuire Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says federal Health Minister Greg Hunt "won the day" in convincing the AFL to play.Richmond and Carlton will open the season behind closed doors at the MCG on Thursday night as planned.

Although leading epidemiologists, intensive care specialists and senior government health figures warn there is no room to relax the draconian measures that have shutdown normal social and economic life, they no longer fear our hospitals will be overrun.

With the peak of the local epidemic still up to three months away, Royal Melbourne Hospital director of intensive care medicine Chris McIsaac said the message to the public needed to be balanced.

How the NT Government plans to cope with coronavirus pressure on over-budget health system

  How the NT Government plans to cope with coronavirus pressure on over-budget health system In the past 48 hours, the Territory went from one to five cases of coronavirus. What's NT Health's plan to cope with COVID-19?Yesterday Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced strict new coronavirus border controls to halt the COVID-19 spread, restrictions which are likely to remain in place for six months.

Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around Australia

"We are trying to motivate the public to take this seriously but also, reassure them that if they do, we are going to be able to provide a high level of care for them,'' he told The Age.

"From my perspective, governments at both a state and federal level are taking every precaution and pulling every lever that they have at their disposal to flatten this curve."

Nic Maddinson wins Bill Lawry Medal

  Nic Maddinson wins Bill Lawry Medal Nic Maddinson's domestic resurgence has been capped with the former Test batsman named the winner of the Bill Lawry Medal as Victoria's Sheffield Shield Player of the Year on Thursday night. In his second season with Victoria after moving from NSW, Maddinson was the leading run-scorer in the Shield with 780 runs at 86.66. He'd already jointly won the national Sheffield Shield Player of the Year award with NSW's Moises Henriques.

Exclusive modelling prepared for The Age by leading epidemiologist Tony Blakely indicates that the culmination of coronavirus crisis - the peak number of patients requiring admittance to intensive care units - can be controlled to fall within the expanded capacity of our hospital system.

A series of scenario projections calculated by Professor Blakely and researchers from the University of Melbourne's Population Intervention Unit predict that shutdown measures introduced a week ago by the Victorian and federal governments could reduce by between two thirds and three quarters the peak ICU admission rate in the state.

This means that instead of about 1000 patients a day requiring intensive treatment, the more likely number will be fall between 375 and 240. Professor Blakely said his calculations were subject to fluctuation and "pessimistic," as they assumed the same rate of ICU admissions across all ages.

"If we protect our elderly and people with chronic conditions well, I would expect these numbers to halve,'' he said.

With each patient requiring between four and five days in hospital, this predicted rate of admissions would stretch but not break our intensive care capacity, which currency stands in excess of 1000 units and will continue to grow.

The modelling is based on what Professor Blakely estimates to be the true numbers of infections in the state, which is about three times the number of confirmed cases, and indicates that the peak of the crisis may not arrive until late June.

If the modelling is accurate, the pandemic will infect more than 2 million Victorians but, in stark contrast to what we have seen in Lombardy and are now seeing in New York, leave our hospital system intact.

"If what you are getting from health service managers and clinicians is that they think the sky isn't falling in and they will cope, I agree,'' Professor Blakely said.

Jobs not homes: NSW to push ahead with planning approvals

  Jobs not homes: NSW to push ahead with planning approvals Planning Minister Rob Stokes wants to speed-up development approvals to propel NSW's economy into the "roaring 2020s" after the coronavirus outbreak. The NSW government will speed-up planning processes and development applications during the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to forge ahead with construction of major projects, generate jobs and push the economy into the "roaring 2020s".

Still, the state government continues to plan for and warn of a worst-case scenario.

"We are scaling up our health system to prepare for this global health crisis as quickly as we can and on a scale never before seen in our history,'' Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

"We have been very clear that if we find ourselves in a worst-case scenario, the rate of infection will almost certainly outstrip our world-class health system's capacity. That's why our message is clear: if you can stay at home, you must stay at home."

However, the coronavirus endgame - where the peak of the virus meets the limits of our health system - has changed significantly due to the public acceptance of this message and a two-month campaign within our hospitals to increase their COVID capacity.

Western Health chief executive Russell Harrison said COVID preparations began in January as dire reports of the epidemic were first emerging in Wuhan.

A small team of senior clinicians, nurses and managers were taken off regular duties to lead COVID planning. Clinical and administrative staff were split into A and B streams, one assigned to Sunshine Hospital and the other to Footscray Hospital, to prevent a single COVID infection from disrupting the operations of both hospitals.

An acute respiratory clinic was established in a suite of nine outpatient rooms at Sunshine Hospital, separated by a road from the emergency department, so that suspected COVID cases could be tested without risk of cross-contamination.

There are currently no COVID in-patients at either Sunshine or Footscray hospitals. When that changes, a staged response will begin rolling out, starting with those patients - between 2 per cent and five percent of total COVID cases - who require intensive care.

"The plan scales out from a single patient in a negative pressure room to a whole ward, to two wards and three, four etc," Mr Harrison said. "We have got plans to scale our ICU and surge it."

At Sunshine Hospital there are two wards with a total of 56 beds empty and ready for COVID patients. When those beds are full, there are a further two newer wards with 64 beds, that will be readied and staffed to take patients. If the number of cases exceeds those beds, there is planning for the entire Sunshine campus to become a COVID-dedicated hospital, with all non-COVID cases shifted to Footscray.

"We have had the benefit of time,'' Mr Harrison said. "There is a cause for modest optimism that this is working, the challenge is to keep that going."

Mr McIsaac said the Royal Melbourne Hospital's standing capacity for 42 ICU patients had more than doubled through the repurposing of other hospital space, the provision of more equipment and an "overwhelming" response from nurses with intensive experience who were leaving research, management and general ward duties to work at the COVID coalface.

He described the preparedness of government to provide whatever funds were needed as "unprecedented" and said the more important response had come from the public.

"When you have a disease that has no cure, clearly prevention is the best cure,'' he said. "The everyday Australian has a much greater opportunity to save far more lives than we do in the intensive care community."

Dr John Bonning, the president of the Australian College for Emergency Medicine, said the capacity of the health system to deal with COVID cases was being significantly enhanced by the shutting down of operating theatres for elective surgery and other, non-essential services.

Speaking from New Zealand, where the Ardern Government has declared a full lockdown on social and non-essential activity, he said the biggest restriction on our COVID capacity - a shortage of intensive care nurses - was being eased by the redeployment of anaesthesiologists skilled in the use of ventilators.

"There is significant capacity in operating theatres and high dependency units and to be perfectly honest, jurisdictions across Australia and New Zealand are shutting down all non-COVID business and repurposing clinicians and treatment spaces to deal with this issue,'' he said.

"We don't have it fully under control but we know where we are going and there is some capacity."

Full coverage: Read more on coronavirus from Microsoft News
Donate: Support UNICEF's coronavirus response effort through Benevity
More info: Read the latest advice on COVID-19 from the Australian Government

Jobs not homes: NSW to push ahead with planning approvals .
Planning Minister Rob Stokes wants to speed-up development approvals to propel NSW's economy into the "roaring 2020s" after the coronavirus outbreak. The NSW government will speed-up planning processes and development applications during the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to forge ahead with construction of major projects, generate jobs and push the economy into the "roaring 2020s".

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 8
This is interesting!