Australia

Victoria reports 1,571 new local COVID-19 cases and 13 more deaths

Victoria has recorded 1,571 new local COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths, the deadliest day of this latest outbreak.

The total number of active cases sits at 19,861.

Some 79,200 test results were received in the 24 hours to midnight on Tuesday.

Elective surgery is on hold across the state as the public health system braces itself for an influx of COVID-19 patients.

Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed public hospitals will from Thursday only be performing urgent category one and two surgeries.

It comes as the state recruits seeks to recruit up to 1000 healthcare workers from outside Australia.

“As COVID cases increase … we will be progressively seeking to switch off elements of non-urgent care,” Mr Foley said.

The government has earmarked $255 million for a new hospital surge support allowance for healthcare workers treating infected patients.

The allowance of up to $60 per shift for the next four months begins from this week.

The government will also spend another $2.5 million to recruit up to 1000 international healthcare workers, and expects 60 per cent of those recruits will be Australians already working overseas.

Almost 60 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 are now fully vaccinated, 59.8 per cent, while 86.7 per cent have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Source: sbs.com.au

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