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Doctors Call For A Return To Face Masks Indoors In Australia

Rachel Lang

Published 
| Last updated 

Doctors Call For A Return To Face Masks Indoors In Australia

Australian doctors are pushing for mandatory indoor mask rules to be reintroduced as Covid-19 numbers rise in several states.

Australian Medical Association (AMA) President Omar Khorshid has revealed that Western Australia's healthcare system will not cope if the state reaches 25,000 new infections per day, a figure that is rapidly approaching.

"(Masks) did seem to be keeping a lid on the spread of the virus through the community, and it was keeping those numbers at a pretty stable level where the health system could be expected to cope," Dr Khorshid said, as reported by WA Today.

"Now we’ve seen those numbers explode.

"If we see numbers like we’ve seen in the last week for the next four, six weeks, then we’re going to have a health system that cannot cope and people with other medical conditions getting substandard medical care because we just can’t get the workers into the workplace where they’re needed."

Credit: Jeremy Graham / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Jeremy Graham / Alamy Stock Photo

Meanwhile, in Victoria, Covid-19 numbers are also on the rise.

Dr Roderick McRae, President of the Victoria's branch of the Australian Medical Association, said it would be wise for the state to reinstate some 'moderate, but sensible [Covid-19] requirements' such as masks in supermarkets, theatres, concert halls, football stadiums, and other venues where people will be in close proximity, The Age reported.

Experts are aware of the public sentiment toward masks, with Infectious Diseases Professor at the Australian National University Sanjaya Senanayake telling Channel Nine there may public kick-back if mandates are reintroduced.

"I think the public are fed-up of masks, of Covid-19," Prof. Senanayake said.

"Indoor mask mandates are really a very minor intervention."

Prof. Senanayake added that it is crucial for Aussies to get the Covid-19 booster, as even those who suffer mild symptoms can be left with long-lasting effects.

"Just because you don't end up in hospital with an illness doesn't mean you can't be sick," he said.

"It's in all our interests not to get COVID."

But it isn't just Covid-19 that Aussies need to be wary of. Winter is coming, and with that, the first major flu season in three years.

Credit: Della Batchelor / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Della Batchelor / Alamy Stock Photo

Victoria's Dr McRae has warned against a 'dreadful' current flu strain that he reckons go from 'zero to 100 faster than your favourite electric car'.

So it might be time to don the masks again, which less and less of us are doing, according to recent ABS data.

Figures reveal only 78 per cent of Australians wore a face mask in the last week.

This number was down significantly from the 98 per cent mask rate in February earlier this year.

In Victoria, 20 people died with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. A further 13,694 new cases were diagnosed.

In NSW, 16 people have died, with 10,972 people testing positive in the past 24 hours.

Western Australia has reported 14 more Covid-19 deaths and 15,674 new cases.

One person died in Tasmania, with 1,216 new cases, up from 854 yesterday.

In the ACT, one person has also died. A further 1,129 new infections were recorded.

South Australia has recorded 3,773 new cases and two deaths in the last 24 hours.

Queensland has recorded 6,270 new cases and 12 deaths.

The Northern Territory reported another 347 new cases.

Featured Image Credit: Elizaveta Galitckaia / Alamy Stock Photo. lolostock / Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: Coronavirus, Health, Australia, News

Rachel Lang
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