Australian doctors body calls for fight against "COVID complacency"-Xinhua

Australian doctors body calls for fight against "COVID complacency"

Source: Xinhua| 2022-08-05 09:36:00|Editor: huaxia

SYDNEY, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Australia's peak body representing general practices (GPs), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), has flagged the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country's island state of Tasmania.

On Friday, the RACGP penned an open call to the state to re-introduce measures and fight against complacency towards the pandemic.

Being an island on Australia's southwest coast, Tasmania managed to remain relatively unscathed during the pandemic. However, in December 2021, when the nation opened its borders amid the arrival of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant, the number of cases surged on the island.

Since December of 2021, the Tasmanian government has reported a total of 234,364 new cases, almost half of its total population.

The state reported 765 new cases, 92 hospitalizations, 25 patients being treated specifically for COVID-19, and two people in community case management facilities in the latest data released on Friday morning. The total number of active cases is 4,982. The state government said the current risk of COVID-19 in the community is high.

"The high rate of COVID-19 transmission nation-wide including Tasmania is placing tremendous strain on our health system, including our over-stretched hospitals," said RACGP President Karen Price.

Price urged residents to not grow complacent and to consider the state's most vulnerable.

"Instead, we need to look after one another because as a community we are all in this together and some people, including older people and the immunocompromised, are more vulnerable to severe effects from the virus," Price said.

While Tasmania has a high rate of vaccination -- over 99 percent of its over 12 population have at least two doses, its booster rate has failed to keep up with just 73.26 percent.

Acknowledging the increased pressure on the state's hospitals, the Tasmanian government implemented a range of measures to reduce hospital pressure, and health care worker workloads.

These included recruiting and retention bonuses for front line workers, the introduction of COVID antivirals to hospitals, and the transfer of patients from overloaded public hospitals to private hospitals.