It is the last sitting day for six weeks, with Parliament heading into spring recess once it rises today.
Which is probably a blessing for all of us. The past two weeks have been painful to watch. Question time is even worse. With everything going on, this is the last thing we need. It is therefore preferable that everyone retreat to their quarantine corners and calm their farms a bit.
Not that the news is slowing down with the absence of parliament. It all depends on what’s going on in the lockdowns, which, given Delta’s situation, is completely understandable.
Yesterday Victoria admitted that Covid Zero was impossible in the current variant climate, especially when you factor in lockdown fatigue. So now the strategy is to remove as much as possible, not let it reach NSW levels and vaccinate, with the lockdown being extended until at least October, when Victoria is expected to hit her 80% target.
NSW appears to have come to terms with where its case count is and is focusing only on immunization (70% of adults have received at least one dose now) with the plan to open the state to 80% regardless of the number of case. But so far away Gladys Berejiklian is very keen on not releasing any modeling on what this will look like. The NSW premier is very focused on the positives, but said she “can’t remember” the worst-case figures. No matter how many times reporters ask her, no matter how many different ways they ask her, so far she’s not shy about releasing these numbers.
But now WADA has joined the team, writing to the Prime Minister and all Heads of State and Territory wishing to model the country’s hospital capacity as they fear they may not be ready for the “living with Covid” transition,
WADA President Dr Omar KhorshidThe letter from the hospital indicated that our hospital system was not ready to face any easing of restrictions – even with increased vaccination rates – and a detailed understanding of current hospital capacity needs to be developed, modeling the impact. to “live with Covid-19”.
Even before Covid, emergency departments were full, ambulances crowded and wait times for elective surgeries too long.
We urgently need to prepare our health system before opening it and for that we need a new model based on the capacity of our hospitals to cope with the increase in the associated workload.
This modeling should take into account all aspects of the impact of Covid-19 on our hospitals and our primary care sector. Staffing, for example, is already a significant problem across the health sector, exacerbated by the closure of international borders.
WA is already reporting problems with its healthcare system and borders are closed. Ditto with South Australia. Queensland has had its problems. NSW is told October will be the worst month so far for the healthcare system and health advocates warn staff are already on edge. Because it’s not just about the capacity of intensive care units and ventilators. These are the people who endow it. If they are already exhausted and underfunded now, because of border closures and sheer exhaustion, then what happens when more pressure is added to the system? And shouldn’t we tell people what the situation is and what to expect in the coming transition?
We’ll cover any answers we get to these questions and more as the day progresses.
Meanwhile, the nationwide debate continues, with the Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk wanting an under-12 vaccination plan, although there is no vaccine in the world approved for children this young yet. WA premier Mark McGowan maintains its strict border policy, leaving open a situation where vaccinated NSW residents could travel overseas before being allowed entry into the west. The SA, Tasmania and the NT are silent but have done nothing to show that they are ready to open either. And ACT called it a “balancing act.”
It’s a sitting day, Amy Remeikis is with you on the blog, with Mike Bowers already busy at work. The entire Canberra team of Katharine Murphy, Sarah Martin, Paul Karp, and Daniel Hurst are on deck, and you’ll hear a lot from the rest of the Guardian brains throughout the day.
I will absolutely put the coffee up today. I just hang it in my veins. Take a moment and when you’re ready, let’s get into it.