Western Australia has recorded 14 deaths in the last 24 hours, the highest daily figure of fatalities the state has reported over the course of the pandemic.
- There are 325 people in hospital with COVID in WA and 15,764 new cases
- Third dose vaccinations have reached nearly 81 per cent
- The 14 deaths reported today occured over the past fortnight
The deaths come amid 15, 674 new COVID cases, including four men and a woman in their 90s, five men and a woman in their 80s, two men in their 70s and a man in his 50s.
There are now 325 West Australians in hospital with COVID, with 11 people in intensive care.
A total of 88,710 people in the state currently have the virus.
WA has recorded 576,315 cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Premier Mark McGowan said the deaths reported today took place over the past fortnight.
He said he believed WA residents were taking the pandemic seriously.
“Look, I suspect West Australians take it more seriously than people in any other state,” he said.
“Other states have been through multiple waves, New South Wales and Victoria…. sadly people are dying there in large numbers every day.”
Modelling earlier this year suggested WA would peak at around 10,000 cases per day, with almost 500 people in hospital including 56 in ICU.
Today’s hospital figures are well below those predictions, even as case numbers far exceed what was anticipated.
Premier urges third vaccination
The state’s peak medical bodies are continuing to push for the reintroduction of stricter COVID measures, including mask-wearing.
AMA WA president Mark Duncan-Smith said yesterday he expected the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 to reach 400 in the next one to two weeks.
“The hospital system is going to show major stress and crisis for the next two weeks, including increased critical ramping, critical ambulance shortages … increased furloughing of staff,” he said.
“We’re going to get critical problems, which are a direct result of that inability to act and reintroduce masks.”
Mr McGowan today refused to be drawn on whether the government might consider reintroducing stricter restrictions.
“If you want to wear a mask when you’re out, please wear a mask, take care of your health,” he said.
The Premier said the most important thing was for people to get vaccinated if they already weren’t.
The current third dose vaccination rate for over 16s is 80.9 per cent.
Ambulance failings lay bare COVID crisis
The state’s health system continues to struggle under the weight of the additional burden of COVID, with a Perth woman dying on Sunday after an ambulance failed to reach her in time.
The ambulance arrived about two and a half hours after she rang St John complaining of chest pains, on a day when about 40 per cent of ambulance personnel were off work due to COVID.
She is the third woman to die in recent weeks because of ambulance failings, after a woman died while under the care of paramedics at Busselton Hospital last month and another died just days later while waiting for an ambulance in Geraldton.