Omicron Australia: Alarm over a huge Covid-19 spike expected in Sydney


Covid is now so widespread in Australia doctors are treating every hospital patient as if they have the virus even if they have tested negative, top health executives have warned.

Liverpool Hospital, Nepean Hospital and St George Hospital in Sydney’s south-west, west and south will no longer treat Covid-positive patients any differently to those without the virus, 7News reported.

The policy change came amid concern the true number of positive cases in NSW is far higher than the 45,098 reported on Saturday.

Rapid antigen tests in private homes have not yet been counted in official figures in NSW, but will be added to daily case totals on Wednesday.

Case numbers are expected to double at that point. 

Bosses at three major hospitals say Covid-19 is now so widespread that they have warned staff every patient could have the virus – even if they have returned negative test results

Australia could reportedly be well on the way to one million Covid cases (pictured, people at a walk-in Covid testing clinic in Melbourne)

Australia could reportedly be well on the way to one million Covid cases (pictured, people at a walk-in Covid testing clinic in Melbourne) 

The new warnings to frontline healthcare workers in Sydney came amid concerns the true number positive cases in New South Wales are far higher than the 45,098 reported on Saturday (pictured, ICU Registered Nurse Shaunagh Whelan caring for a COVID-19 positive patient in St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney)

The new warnings to frontline healthcare workers in Sydney came amid concerns the true number positive cases in New South Wales are far higher than the 45,098 reported on Saturday (pictured, ICU Registered Nurse Shaunagh Whelan caring for a COVID-19 positive patient in St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney)

Victoria’s new case numbers doubled to 51,356 on Saturday after RAT results were included in official numbers.  

Adviser to the Federal Health Aged Care portfolios, Troy Billsborough, said Australia could see more than one million positive cases within days.

‘That’s more people than cancer, that’s more people than lung disease and kidney disease,’ he said.

He predicted the huge case load and the likelihood of new variants could even affect the upcoming Australian Federal election.  

Professor Mohamed Khadra, Professor of Surgery at Nepean Hospital, has warned staff negative rapid test results can no longer be relied upon.

He instructed staff in an email to treat all patients – Covid-negative and Covid-positive – as if they have the illness. 

It is also understood similar instructions were given to healthcare workers at St George and Liverpool hospitals.

Up to 5,000 healthcare workers are believed to be in isolation after either testing positive or coming into close contact with a positive case. 

‘Our approach is make sure people don’t get lulled into false sense of security because someone has a negative Rapid Antigen Test,’ Professor Khadra told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We’re saying you have to assume everyone has it, whether you’re on bus or in the street or in theatre, you have to protect yourselves and patients.’

Among his warning to staff is that regular surgical masks do not provide sufficient protection on their own.

‘The numbers are so big now I’m asking all staff to make sure they protect themselves’ by wearing full gowns, protective eyewear, face masks and continually washing their hands.

Senior doctors are warning staff all patients could have Covid, even if they have returned negative RAT results (pictured, Registered Nurse Niamh Costello demonstrates a Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test at a drive-through testing facility in Sydney)

Senior doctors are warning staff all patients could have Covid, even if they have returned negative RAT results (pictured, Registered Nurse Niamh Costello demonstrates a Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test at a drive-through testing facility in Sydney)

‘This kind of approach protects patients and protects staff and allows to treat as many people as possible,’ Professor Khadra said.

Meanwhile the Australian Medical Association issued new warnings that anyone going into a hospital could contract the virus.  

‘Many people who go to hospital without Covid will be unfortunate to contract it while they are in hospital,’ said Michael Bonning, a federal councillor with the AMA.

Mr Bonning said it was ‘infuriating’ to hear continual claims that the health system is ‘coping’.

‘It is infuriating to continue to hear that when we know that this is the biggest challenge we have ever faced,’ he said.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk