11 Jan 2022

Victoria Covid-19 hospitalisations reach all-time high, 'extreme demand' causes ambulance delays

11:38 am on 11 January 2022

The number of patients in Victorian hospitals with Covid-19 has risen to its highest level since the pandemic began, as the state records 37,994 new cases and 13 deaths.

Medical staff stretchering a patient at Royal Melbourne Hospital. The state's surge in infection numbers has put pressure on the state's health system.

Photo: AFP

There are now 861 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 117 patients in intensive care and 27 on ventilators.

The state's previous peak for hospitalisations was 851, reported on 18 October as the state battled a wave of Delta infections.

There are now 171,369 active cases in the state and the death toll from the current outbreak has risen to 771.

Of the new infections, 19,491 were positive PCR test results from a total of 59,670 PCR test results received.

The remaining 18,503 cases were reported by Victorians from at-home rapid antigen tests (RATs).

Roughly 17 percent of Victorian adults have received three doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Health system buckling under growing caseload

The sheer volume of Omicron cases is expected to continue to overwhelm the health system, where thousands of patients are missing out on elective surgeries as hospital capacity tightens.

Overnight, Ambulance Victoria issued its second Code Red warning in the space of a week, alerting the public to ambulance delays due to extreme demand.

Health authorities have warned unnecessary calls to triple-0 from anxious Victorians with Covid-19 are contributing to the delays.

People are being urged to only call for an ambulance if it is a medical emergency, and to otherwise seek help from their GP or NURSE-ON-CALL

NSW reports 11 deaths and 2,186 hospitalisations

New South Wales has reported 11 Covid deaths to 8pm yesterday, with hospitalisations rising to 2,186 patients.

That's a rise of 156 people. There are now 170 people in intensive, up yesterday from 159.

The state recorded 25,870 Covid-19 cases and 11 deaths in the latest reporting period.

There were 71,325 PCR tests undertaken.

The case numbers do not include rapid antigen tests taken by people at home. NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant yesterday warned that the state's numbers were likely an underestimate because of this.

The state is expected to provide a platform for people to record their positive RAT results this week.


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