AMA (NSW) is urging National Cabinet and the NSW Government to re-introduce COVID public health measures to stem increasing COVID transmission in the community.
“We have seen a rapid escalation in COVID numbers in the last week. Taking small measures now will help flatten the curve,” said Dr Danielle McMullen, AMA (NSW) President.
“Making masks mandatory and introducing density limits in indoor settings are simple and effective measures that will help curb the spread of the virus.
“We have achieved a high vaccination rate in the community, and we anticipate that many people will experience mild to moderate illness.
“However, the sheer volume of cases suggests there will be growing pressure on our hospitals from people who have other underlying chronic conditions, or those who are unvaccinated and need treatment for serious COVID illness.
“High case numbers also mean increased likelihood that healthcare workers will be furloughed, and general practice will spend greater time looking after patients in the community. This diverts attention away from non-COVID care and the downstream impact on patients and the healthcare system could be serious,” Dr McMullen said.
She added, “It is good to see so many people taking personal responsibility and wearing a mask indoors and in situations where they cannot socially isolate. A mandate will provide extra incentive to encourage everyone to ensure they are not only looking after themselves, but they are also taking care of others in the community.
“Introducing indoor density limits would be another way to curtail COVID case numbers by reducing the likelihood of super spreader events.
“If you have symptoms, please get a PCR test. If you do not have symptoms and are attending a gathering, please consider taking a rapid antigen test beforehand. We acknowledge that the availability of COVID tests is limited at the moment, and we encourage Governments to look at ways to improve access.
“Lastly, if you are eligible for a booster, book it in asap.
“Let’s do what we can now to limit the impact of COVID on our lives down the track,” Dr McMullen said.
Media contact: Andrea Cornish – 0419 402 955