More than 550 elderly care residents and staff have been infected with coronavirus in the Australian state of Victoria, as authorities dismiss calls for all those who test positive to be transferred to hospital.
Victoria recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic on Sunday, with seven of its 10 deaths linked to outbreaks at aged care facilities. The deaths take the state’s toll from the virus to 71 and the national figure to 155.
There are currently 560 active COVID-19 cases linked to residents and staff of at least 40 homes across the state, including 82 cases at Estia Health in Ardeer and 78 at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner.
The crisis prompted the federal and state governments to set up a response centre to coordinate efforts to curb the virus spread on Saturday.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said all agencies needed to work together to bring things under control as quickly as possible.
“This is a challenge that we all need to work together to meet quickly for the safety of those who are vulnerable and dependent on care within aged care facilities in Victoria,” he told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.
Dr Coatsworth dismissed calls by community groups and aged care providers to transfer all COVID-19-positive residents to hospital.
He said decisions needed to be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the resident’s medical needs and clinical advice.
“Every single outbreak is different in regards to COVID-19. It affects different facilities in different sorts of ways when we’re talking about aged care,” he said.
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It has been a startling week for those following Britain’s response to the pandemic. Roundly derided for the lateness of its lockdown and its bungled testing programmes, the UK was the unexpected recipient of a sudden bout of lavish praise for its scientists’ efforts to combat the disease.
“The Brits are on course to save the world,” wrote leading US economist Tyler Cowen in Bloomberg Opinion, while the journal Science quoted leading international scientists who have heaped praise on British researchers’ anti-Covid work.
And the prime target for these plaudits has been the UK’s Recovery trial, a drug-testing programme that has involved input from more than 3,000 doctors and nurses working with 12,000 Covid-19 patients in 176 hospitals across the nation – from the Western Isles to Truro and from Derry to King’s Lynn.
These trials were carried out in intensive care units crammed with the seriously ill, patients whose numbers were boosted to high levels because of the UK’s late pandemic lockdown. The results have nevertheless changed Covid-19 clinical practice across the planet:
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Like other British cities which usually attract high numbers of international tourists throughout the summer, Edinburgh is quiet, and businesses are suffering. August’s festival had already been cancelled when news came last week that December’s Hogmanay party will not go ahead as usual.
The city attracted 2.2 million overnight visits by overseas tourists in 2019, making it second only to London as a destination for travellers to the UK. But coronavirus has created an unprecedented tourism crisis:
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A surge in coronavirus cases in rural Texas has forced one hospital to set up “death panels” to decide which patients it can save and which ones will be sent home to die.
Doctors at Starr County Memorial Hospital, the only hospital in Starr County, have been issued with critical care guidelines to decide which Covid-19 patients it will treat and which ones will be sent home because they are likely to die. The committee is being formed to alleviate the hospital’s limited medical resources so doctors can focus on patients with higher survival rates:
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