Flatten coronavirus infection curve or cases will swamp hospital ICUs

Flatten coronavirus infection curve or cases will swamp hospital ICUs, by Brad Norington.

COVID-19 infections are doubling every six days. With Australia’s tally jumping to 199 late on Friday, the number of cases will have passed 10,000 in less than six weeks unless the spread is slowed.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant this week warned 1.5 million people in the state are ­likely to ­become infected, yet the nation has only 2000 intensive care beds. …

The government revealed on Friday it was battling a shortage of chemicals used in the tests. This has forced West Australian health authorities to place strict criteria on who is tested.

Even before the impact of the virus is felt, there are no spare intensive care unit beds in hospitals, and the number of ventilators for patients needing help to keep their lungs pumping is limited.

Australia’s 695 public hospitals with a total 62,000 beds have 100 ICUs with an estimated 1485 beds. The nation’s 630 private hospitals have 33,100 beds, including 51 ICUs with 538 beds. …

In Singapore and Hong Kong radical social distancing measures have allowed authorities to slow the spread of the virus. In Italy the virus has overwhelmed hospitals and forced doctors to prioritise younger patients over the elderly.

We mentioned this over a month ago. The mainstream media is only now getting onto it. Why the delay? But still only one call in the national media to close the borders (from the Grattan Institute).