Marshall says SA ‘not out of the woods’ as a case in point

The number of new COVID cases in South Australia decreased slightly today, as Prime Minister Steven Marshall outlined an “enormous logistical exercise” to coordinate the launch of rapid antigen tests for close contacts of confirmed cases.

SA registered 3070 new cases on Thursday – down from a record 3493 the day before, with the number of hospitalizations also “leveled” to 123, down by two.

“We still have unfortunately 12 people on ICU and one person on a fan,” Marshall said, with both figures unchanged from the day before.

“We are not out of the woods … we have not reached the peak [and] we will see more cases, “he said.

But he said there were “green shoots” that suggested that restrictions imposed by the end of December “helped us prevent a disaster as we see in many other places around the country and the world”.

Marshall said that “fortunately” there were no cases in intensive care at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, which he said suggested children were no longer significantly affected by the spiraling Omicron tribe.

“We were concerned about the tragic death of a child under the age of two about a week ago,” he said, adding that the case asked the authorities to closely monitor the wider impact on young cases and “so far no one child left. in ICU “.

However, he said “we have seen a further slight rise” in the number of SA Health staff laid off by COVID, with 308 forced out of the job after returning positive tests.

Marshall was part of yesterday’s national cabinet meeting which confirmed that people who test positive on a rapid antigen test now do not have to get their results confirmed with a PCR test, hoping to reduce the pressure on test sites which are experiencing increases in demand due to widespread rapid test deficits.

Marshall said today that SA Health and SA Pathology are preparing to roll out a “standalone scheme” locally, with a “RAT positive” to be a suitable alternative to getting the PCR positive.

He said close contacts “should be identified or identified by SA Health”, at which point they would receive two test kits – one for day one and one for day six.

“If they get positive on day one, they will be considered covid-positive and there will be no need for a PCR test,” he said, adding that every state and territory leader who attended yesterday’s meeting attended “agreed that this was the best use of our finite resources”.

“It’s an enormous logistical exercise, it’s quite a change from where we were – but this is the appropriate response for where we are at this point of the disease,” he said.

“You have to identify yourself, get it [a] QR code and feed the data into our system … we want the most accurate data possible so we can closely monitor this disease in SA. ”

It comes amid escalating cases in Australia, with Queensland registering 10,332 new COVID-19 cases and one death in the state’s largest daily increase in infections.

Twelve people are in intensive care in that state, including two on ventilators, while 284 patients are in the hospital. The rise in new cases, which follows the 6871 reported on Wednesday, comes because test capacity is being pushed to the edge and authorities are warning that many undetected infections are likely to circulate in the Sunshine state.

NSW was able to stop elective surgery and design in private hospitals to help put pressure on the hospital system, after the state registered another 34,994 COVID-19 cases, while Victoria reported 21,997 new cases on Thursday – one-third of the 64,000 recorded results.

– additional reporting by AAP

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