Hospitals in crisis as Australian COVID-19 infections surge

Martin Scott*

A man receives a COVID-19 test in the eastern suburbs of Sydney last September [Credit: AP Photo/Mark Baker]
Around Australia, more than 116,000 new COVID-19 infections were reported today, smashing yesterday’s record high of 78,166. Per capita, the pandemic is now growing faster in Australia than in the United States.

While New South Wales (NSW) remains the worst-affected state, with 45,098 new cases reported today, infections are increasing rapidly in every state and territory, except Western Australia, which has not yet opened its borders to the rest of the country.

In Victoria, 51,356 infections were reported today, including the results of around 20,000 rapid antigen tests (RATs) taken earlier in the week, but registered yesterday. Even discounting these, daily case numbers in the state have increased more than four-fold in the space of one week.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said today’s figures were “exactly what we wanted to happen,” because “we knew there were undiagnosed cases out there.” The ghoulish comment, welcoming infections that will lead to serious illness and death, follows the state Labor government’s refusal to implement even limited health measures recommended by medical experts, including caps on attendance at indoor venues and mass super-spreading events.

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