Australia records 10,000 Covid-19 deaths as Victoria, Queensland weighs mask mandates
Australia has reached the somber milestone of 10,000 Covid-19-related deaths, with more than 7,000 deaths reported in the past six months.
Australia has reported 7,755 deaths over the course of 2022, surpassing the 10,000 mark on Sunday when Victoria and NSW reported their daily death toll, with the nation now losing 10,008 people.
There were also 909 Covid-19-related deaths in 2020 and 1,344 in 2021.
It comes as the Victorian Government is debating whether to bring back a mask mandate due to rising case numbers ahead of November’s state election.
The Covid death toll in Australia has reached 10,000, with more than 7,000 deaths reported in the past six months (Pictured: ICU staff caring for Covid patients at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney).
Australia has reported 7,755 deaths over the course of 2022, bringing the country’s total to 10,008 (pictured, Sydneysiders)
New South Wales and Victoria have recorded 24 deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths in Australia topped the 10,000 mark.
That number is expected to rise even further as other states and territories announce their numbers on Sunday.
An infectious disease expert claims the worrying statistics will take Australia to 14,000 deaths by the end of 2022.
“We’re actually going to have about 14,000 deaths from COVID this year if we continue at this rate,” said Nigel McMillan, Griffith University’s infectious disease and immunology program director.
“That will make COVID the number two or three killer in the country of all causes.
“Is this what Australia’s success in controlling this virus looks like? I would suggest no.’
Prof McMillan said booster uptake is not good enough in states like Queensland – the lowest in the country – at about 63 per cent.
The state with the highest uptake of boosters is Western Australia at 83 percent, with other states and territories falling somewhere in between.
“We just seem to have gotten comfortable with the idea that we’re stopping vaccination mandates for all sorts of places, we’ve relaxed our mask restrictions,” he said.
“So we have very little in the way of the virus right now to stop the spread of the virus.”
NSW and Victoria have both recorded 24 Covid deaths in the past 24 hours. That number is expected to rise as other states and territories announce their numbers on Sunday. (pictured, Covid-19 test clinic)
Prof McMillan said booster uptake is not good enough in states like Queensland – the lowest in the country at about 63 per cent
The rise in deaths and cases led to the Victorian Government debating whether to bring masks back.
But Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio was quick to rule out a mask mandate, despite describing the Covid situation in the state as a matter of “life or death”.
She insisted the debate over the decision had nothing to do with it November state election.
“We are always guided by our health advice,” Ms. D’Ambrosio said.
“The current Health Council in Victoria has the right attitudes with us for our state.
“Health is too important – we are talking life or death here.
“Talks may take place in different states depending on the circumstances. But here in Victoria we have made the right adjustments.
“We know what it’s like to have Covid embedded in our community and all this government has ever done is follow the scientific and public health advice.”
Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said Saturday Victoria had no plans to reintroduce mask-wearing
Her comments come after the Victorian Department of Health warned that Covid deaths and hospitalizations will rise across the state.
“The Department of Health understands that the prevalence of BA.4/BA.5 in Victoria is likely to lead to an increase in cases – including reinfections – and hospitalizations and deaths.
“This is because the strain has a greater ability than BA.2 to evade the immunity provided by vaccination and previous Covid-19 infection,” it said Friday night.
Recent case numbers and deaths in Victoria prompted the Department of Health to “strongly recommend” the return of masks to the state.
“Masks are strongly recommended in shared indoor spaces. if you cannot physically distance yourself; or you are with those who are more vulnerable to Covid-19. Improve ventilation by opening doors and windows, using fans or air purifiers, and gathering outside if possible,” the department said in a statement.
“Face masks are still required for everyone aged eight and over in some places, including public transport, ride-sharing services and taxis, as well as in sensitive environments such as hospitals and care facilities.”
The Victorian Department of Health has warned that Covid deaths and hospitalizations will rise across the state
Queensland is set to be the first to bring back mask mandates in a bid to stem the tidal wave of infection.
Queensland Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said he does not want a return to mask mandates but admitted the possibility has been talked about.
“It’s still being debated but … we would prefer not to go down that route,” he told Radio Brisbane 4BC on Friday.
Federal Secretary of Labor Murray Watt said Saturday the government has not received health advice on mask mandates and those decisions are typically made by state governments.
“I know this is something that health officials have been discussing nationally,” he said.
Prof McMillan proposed making policy changes to the public health system, including expanding the availability of antivirals beyond people with comorbidities.
Australia is experiencing a number of omicron variants that have kept infection rates high, said Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University.
However, Australia ranks low in deaths per capita compared to other countries, she said.
“Whether we look at the total number of COVID-19 deaths per case or deaths per capita, Australia ranks at the bottom along with New Zealand, Taiwan and Japan,” said Prof Bennett.
Australia’s per capita daily death rates are comparable to the UK and Canada and lower than France – countries currently in the summer and reporting a fall in case numbers, she said.
“It’s critical that we learn more about those who end up in hospital or who don’t survive their infections so we can see what needs to be done to prevent preventable deaths and reduce mortality.”
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/australia-records-10000-covid-19-deaths-as-victoria-queensland-weigh-up-mask-mandates/ Australia records 10,000 Covid-19 deaths as Victoria, Queensland weighs mask mandates