April 22, 2020 16:40:53
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has confirmed there have been “only four new cases” of COVID-19 in Australia since yesterday afternoon.
Professor Kelly said it was a further reflection that social distancing measures imposed by the Federal Government were working.
“There may be more later, but we certainly appear to be flattening that curve very successfully at the moment,” he said.
Nationally there have been 6,649 cases so far, with three deaths in the past 24 hours one at the Newmarch House aged care facility in Sydney currently in the midst of an outbreak taking the total to 74 deaths.
Professor Kelly said as well as the progress being made to flatten the curve and expand testing regimes, the Government was also stepping up its commitment to the third arm of its coronavirus response plan assisting areas dealing with outbreaks.
He said specific support had been offered to Newmarch House to help while it grappled with a number of cases.
“From the Commonwealth’s point of view, we have offered unlimited workforce support,” Professor Kelly said.
“[The facility] is dealing with the difficult situation of having a large number of patients, of residents, with COVID-19.
“But also a number of staff that have had to absent themselves from work because they have been close contacts of someone with COVID-19.”
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer said the facility had received personal protective equipment and widespread staff testing.
“This is a complex situation,” he said.
“Repeated testing is finding more cases, which is what we want to do, to make sure we are finding cases, even if they are asymptomatic, or mild.”
Professor Kelly said there would be a meeting between Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, and advocacy networks that family members of those involved could join.
More to come.
April 22, 2020 16:22:46