Over 600 health workers in Australia’s Sydney in quarantine over COVID contact

Canberra, Jul 5 (Bureau) Over 620 medical workers across two hospitals in Australia’s Sydney have been put on quarantine after coming into contact with an unvaccinated student nurse who worked at the two medical facilities while being infected with COVID-19, The Guardian reported on Monday. According to the newspaper, the situation has put a further strain on the already overwhelmed facilities and is most critical at Royal North Shore hospital, where five wards are affected, prompting the authorities to move nursing staff from neighboring hospitals to fill the shortfall in services.

“Our health system was already at extraordinary high activity, and there was minimum staffing available because casual staff who might’ve backfilled absences are being absorbed at vaccination and testing centres,” the general secretary of New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association, Brett Holmes, was quoted as saying. In addition to the isolation measure, the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) announced that no visitors will be permitted in WSLHD hospitals and healthcare facilities. This announcement prompted questions about whether women giving birth can be accompanied by a support person, but the local health body clarified that “exemptions will be allowed under extenuating circumstances only and a centralised exemption process has been established.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, Australia has registered over 30,800 COVID-19 cases and 910 related fatalities.