© 2021 Greek Community Tribune All Rights Reserved

UNPRECEDENTED DEVELOPMENTS

Covid surge in SA

4 January 2021 Covid 19 continues to surge in South Australia breaking one record after the other, prompting authorities to announce the reintroduction of tougher social distancing measures at hospitality venues and for home gatherings ahead of New Year’s celebrations. On Monday, South Australia reported 2,552 new cases of COVID-19. Amongst those, are the Leader of the Opposition Peter Malinauskas and the SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens. The number of people in hospital has risen to about 100. In an urgent attempt to reduce the spread of the disease, the SA government has announced new social distancing measures. New restrictions were introduced last week, on hospitality venues, gyms and home gatherings. Density requirements at cafes and restaurants were reduced to one person per 4 square metres indoors, and one person per 2 square metres outdoors. “The public health and social measures are to give ourselves time,” Professor Spurrier said. “The reason for having some more public health and social measures … is to try and slow down the spread, to try and slow down the number of people who will need to come into hospital.” Home gathering caps will shrink from 30 people to 10 people, while the government has asked South Australians to work from home and reduce travel around the state. “We are increasingly concerned about the new Omicron variant,” SA Premier Steven Marshall said. “It will overwhelm our health system and seriously undermine our workforce’s ability to respond to this Omicron outbreak. “If we don’t take decisive action now, we could see South Australia in the thousands of daily cases within the next couple of weeks. “We’re sending a very strong message to all South Australians now: please, reduce your mobility, reduce the number of people you interact with.” While the percentage of fully vaccinated citizens reaches 90% the percentage in ethnic groups, e.g. in the Greek community is said to be lower. We should also add that, as reported on ABC, Premier Marshall said yesterday, the government will soon introduce a mandatory third dose on health workers. According to experts, the number of cases will double every four to five days for the next few weeks. “We will be removing the need for people coming in from interstate to South Australia to have that PCR test within 72 hours of departure,” Mr Marshall said. Mr Marshall said the priority must now be screening people with symptoms of COVID-19. “We are going to ask those people travelling back from interstate to make sure that they use one of the rapid antigen tests … on arrival into South Australia,” he said. The Australian Midwifery and Nursing Federation’s SA branch today said unless urgent action was taken, the situation could significantly deteriorate in the coming days. “Given that all their arrangements were predicated on much lower numbers, there is a very real and present risk of the situation worsening in a very short amount of time,” CEO Elizabeth Dabars said. “When the borders were opened, the residential aged care sector actually asked for 100 days of grace before those borders were opened. Case numbers have nothing ‘to do with’ reopening, the Premier insists. “Well in excess” of 80 per cent of the new cases are Omicron cases, the Premier said. The SA Opposition Shadow Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said the state’s COVID-19 response had been mishandled, and called for compensation for hospitality businesses impacted by extended restrictions.
Greek Tribune Adelaide, South Australia
© 2021 Greek Community Tribune All Rights Reserved

UNPRECEDENTED DEVELOPMENTS

Covid surge in SA

4 January 2021 Covid 19 continues to surge in South Australia breaking one record after the other, prompting authorities to announce the reintroduction of tougher social distancing measures at hospitality venues and for home gatherings ahead of New Year’s celebrations. On Monday, South Australia reported 2,552 new cases of COVID-19. Amongst those, are the Leader of the Opposition Peter Malinauskas and the SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens. The number of people in hospital has risen to about 100. In an urgent attempt to reduce the spread of the disease, the SA government has announced new social distancing measures. New restrictions were introduced last week, on hospitality venues, gyms and home gatherings. Density requirements at cafes and restaurants were reduced to one person per 4 square metres indoors, and one person per 2 square metres outdoors. “The public health and social measures are to give ourselves time,” Professor Spurrier said. “The reason for having some more public health and social measures … is to try and slow down the spread, to try and slow down the number of people who will need to come into hospital.” Home gathering caps will shrink from 30 people to 10 people, while the government has asked South Australians to work from home and reduce travel around the state. “We are increasingly concerned about the new Omicron variant,” SA Premier Steven Marshall said. “It will overwhelm our health system and seriously undermine our workforce’s ability to respond to this Omicron outbreak. “If we don’t take decisive action now, we could see South Australia in the thousands of daily cases within the next couple of weeks. “We’re sending a very strong message to all South Australians now: please, reduce your mobility, reduce the number of people you interact with.” While the percentage of fully vaccinated citizens reaches 90% the percentage in ethnic groups, e.g. in the Greek community is said to be lower. We should also add that, as reported on ABC, Premier Marshall said yesterday, the government will soon introduce a mandatory third dose on health workers. According to experts, the number of cases will double every four to five days for the next few weeks. “We will be removing the need for people coming in from interstate to South Australia to have that PCR test within 72 hours of departure,” Mr Marshall said. Mr Marshall said the priority must now be screening people with symptoms of COVID-19. “We are going to ask those people travelling back from interstate to make sure that they use one of the rapid antigen tests … on arrival into South Australia,” he said. The Australian Midwifery and Nursing Federation’s SA branch today said unless urgent action was taken, the situation could significantly deteriorate in the coming days. “Given that all their arrangements were predicated on much lower numbers, there is a very real and present risk of the situation worsening in a very short amount of time,” CEO Elizabeth Dabars said. “When the borders were opened, the residential aged care sector actually asked for 100 days of grace before those borders were opened. Case numbers have nothing ‘to do with’ reopening, the Premier insists. “Well in excess” of 80 per cent of the new cases are Omicron cases, the Premier said. The SA Opposition Shadow Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said the state’s COVID-19 response had been mishandled, and called for compensation for hospitality businesses impacted by extended restrictions.
Greek Tribune
Adelaide, South Australia