- Non-urgent surgeries have been paused at three major hospitals in Sydney
- With Sydney ‘drowning’ in testing, Covid samples now also analysed interstate
- Australian Defence Force will also assist NSW police with enforcing lockdown
- On Thursday, NSW recorded 239 cases – the highest in pandemic since 2020
Sydney’s health system is buckling under the pressure of the city’s spiralling Covid outbreak, with surgery suspended at several hospitals and the army drafted in to enforce lockdown.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Thursday night that 300 personnel would be deployed to help NSW Police enforce the strict restrictions on millions across Sydney.
They will be deployed across Sydney from Monday.
It comes after NSW recorded its worst-ever Covid case numbers on Thursday, with a whopping 239 cases as the state’s health system struggles to contain the Indian Delta strain.
Newly released figures also showed the state’s contact tracing system was being overwhelmed by case numbers, with a soaring number of mystery cases going unsolved for weeks, and a slippage in the time taken to notify positive test results and to interview new cases about their movements.
Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred, St Vincent’s and Liverpool hospitals have all had to pause non-urgent surgery during lockdown, as Health Minister Brad Hazzard conceded the hospital system was under ‘significant stress.’
The government is quietly preparing for targeted lockdowns to stretch into 2022, as Australia’s Covid crisis rages on.
According to The Australian, the Doherty Institute has prepared scenarios to be presented to national cabinet today which shows the vaccination rates we need for Australia to start opening up, with Treasury then tasked with figuring out the economic costs of different outcomes.