Thursday, 7 July 2022

COVID-19 Omicron cases on the rise again in NSW and an increase in hospitalisation expected


According to NSW Health, as at 4pm on 5 July 2022 there were 124,706 confirmed active COVID-19 cases in the state, including 13,775 newly confirmed COVID-19 infections.

Within the newly infected group were 338 individuals from across the 7 local government areas in Northern NSW.

A total of 1,822 infected people were currently hospitalised, with 64 of these COVID-19 inpatients in intensive care of which number 16 individuals required ventilation.

Sadly there were 20 confirmed COVID-19 deaths within that 24 hour reporting period.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 July 2022:

NSW is facing a coronavirus wave tipped to rival the Omicron summer as the state government and health bodies push for better access to antiviral treatments and expanded eligibility for fourth doses.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the NSW COVID-19 wave was expected to peak in late July or early August with hospitalisations similar to those in January. She urged the third of people who have not yet had a booster shot to do so urgently.

Disregard anything we’ve said about two doses. It’s three doses or more,” Chant said.

A national surge in coronavirus cases is being driven by the newer BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, which better evade immunity from previous infection and vaccination.

Throughout June, about 30 per cent of virus deaths – three-quarters of whom were in their 80s and 90s – were not up-to-date with their shots.

But with fourth doses currently restricted to people over 65 or those with certain health conditions, Chant said she would support national vaccine advisory group ATAGI expanding eligibility when it meets on Wednesday……

Representative bodies for healthcare workers, including the Australian Medical Association and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, have expressed concern about waning immunity as infections rise. While a single booster shot is considered to still provide significant protection against severe illness and death, most doctors, nurses and pharmacists are now well over six months since their third dose.

In addition to expanding fourth doses, Chant and Hazzard both said they would support clearer eligibility criteria for oral antiviral COVID-19 treatments Paxlovid and Lagevrio.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler has directed the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to review its conditions for subsidised access, labelling them “too restrictive”.

Antivirals are currently available for people aged 65 and over with two high-risk factors; those aged 75 and over with one high-risk factor; or moderately to severely immunocompromised people. People in these age groups may be recommended a particular antiviral, due to interactions with other medications…..

With 1782 people with COVID-19 in hospital on Tuesday, Chant said she had not recommended further public health restrictions. Instead, she encouraged the public to wear masks and take steps to reduce their risk of catching winter viruses including flu……

Full article can be read here.

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