CANBERRA, July 28 (Xinhua) — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the spread of coronavirus in Victorian aged care facilities on Tuesday as a “health crisis.”
Morrison said he would cut a trip to Queensland short to deal with the outbreak of COVID-19.
“The situation remains very concerning and particularly in relation to the aged care situation in Victoria,” Morrison told reporters.
“We have just over 80 facilities out of just over 430 in Victoria which have been affected.”
There were six coronavirus deaths in Australia between Monday and Tuesday, all of which were in Victoria including four linked to aged care facilities. It takes the national death toll to 167.
“The difficulty is the nature of the workforce and the necessity to keep a workforce in place to provide care to residents,” Morrison said.
“Otherwise, those residents would be abandoned and the infiltration of the community spread of the virus through staff has been of particular concern, and it has happened very, very quickly.
“So managing the aged care workforce has been very difficult in Victoria.”
It comes as confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia surpassed 15,000 on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday afternoon there have been 15,304 cases in Australia, and the number of new cases in last 24 hours is 400, according to the latest figures from Department of Health.
Victoria has confirmed 384 new cases of the virus, significantly less than a record-high 532 in the state on Monday.
“Within Victoria, 78 of the new cases are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 306 are under investigation,” said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria on Tuesday.
The department also said that 4,775 cases are currently active in Victoria, where 769 active cases are related to outbreaks in aged care facilities. Enditem