Australia’s surprising virus statistic

By | May 29, 2020

When countries around the world faced serious shortages of ventilators, Australia made sure we were prepared.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth led the Government’s ventilator expansion program when there was about 2200 ventilated intensive care beds available in Australia, with targets to increase that to more than 7000.

But today chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy said there were just two people on ventilators around the country.

“A long way short of the 7000 potential that we catered for in the worse-case scenario,” he said.

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Professor Murphy said Australia was seeing less than 20 cases a day among 30,000 tests.

In March Dr Coatsworth said officials were “working around the clock to procure ventilators”.

Last month the Government announced 2000 new invasive ventilators would be produced by a consortium of local companies.

Meanwhile, countries around the world such as the US and Italy have faced running out.

In April there were about 150,000 ventilators spread across the US but officials had estimated close to a million would be needed.

The US rushed to get more, with President Donald Trump announcing on April 29 the country had become the “king of ventilators”.

Africa is currently suffering from a severe shortage.

Statistics show there are fewer than 2000 ventilators serving millions of people.

In March it was reported only patients under 60 were getting ventilators in Italy as hospitals became overwhelmed.

The limited number of machines were being saved for younger patients with a better chance of survival.

There are more than 5.8 million cases of coronavirus around the world and there have been 360,389 deaths, more than 100,000 of which have been in the US alone.

Australia has recorded a total 7165 cases of COVID-19, with 3092 in New South Wales, 1634 in Victoria, 1058 in Queensland, 440 in South Australia, 577 in Western Australia, 228 in Tasmania, 107 in the Australian Capital Territory and 29 in the Northern Territory.

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