Victoria registers 7224 new COVID-19 cases, putting less than 500 people in hospital
On Saturday, Victoria’s hospitals issued a cautionary statement about the start of non-elective surgery because they are not yet prepared for the workload.
In Victoria, there are 487 persons with the virus in hospitals, with 20 on ventilators and 79 in critical care.
2545 new cases were confirmed by PCR testing across the state, whereas 4679 were self-reported via quick antigen tests. On Friday, the results of almost 19,864 PCR tests were received.
There are presently 55,102 active cases in Victoria.
Except for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Royal Eye and Ear Hospital, which will resume all category 2 treatments when the state’s code brown is lifted on Monday, most public hospitals in Melbourne will be limited to emergency and urgent elective surgery.
Roderick McRae, Victorian president of the Australian Medical Association, believes that if cases continue to fall, Melbourne’s public hospitals might start offering up to 50% of all category 2 elective surgery as early as February 21.
All regional public hospitals would restart category 2 treatments, while regional private hospitals will perform up to 75% of all elective surgery.
The wait for elective procedures is disturbing, according to Tom Symondson, chief executive of the Victorian Healthcare Association, which represents the state’s public hospitals, but a blanket return to elective surgery at public hospitals is not recommended.
He stated the choice should be taken “hospital by hospital,” taking into account COVID-19 admissions, staffing, and resource capacity, as well as the larger implications of removing the code brown proclamation and allowing elective surgery in other regions of the state.
“Some services really are very concerned that they’re not ready to just start doing category 2 again straight away because until code brown ends on Monday, we don’t know how long it’s going to take to get back to normal,” Mr Symondson added.
Around 93 percent of Victorians have had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination, with 50 percent of those over the age of 18 receiving a booster dose. On Friday, 15,429 inoculations were given out in state-run clinics.