The number of COVID patients receiving hospital care in NSW is around three times higher than what authorities are reporting in their daily updates.
There are currently 1,041 people being treated in hospital for COVID, with 173 people in intensive care, about 80% of whom are unvaccinated.
Of those in intensive care, 62 require ventilation.
But as of September 1, at least 2,248 more people were being treated in the community under the Hospital in the Home program, which Health Minister Brad Hazzard has defended after reports that the program was covering up the true toll of the hospital. ‘epidemic.
A report published by the Saturday paper revealed for the first time how many people were receiving hospital care at home.
“Let’s not forget that about 80% of people who contract COVID will have no or minimal symptoms. There is no reason in this situation, necessarily, to have them in the hospital, ”Hazzard said on Saturday.
Doctors’ clinical decisions are made about who needs hospital care, Hazzard said.
In general, people would not be at home if they needed oxygen, he added.
Deputy health director Dr Jeremy McAnulty added that clinicians work with patients to identify the best level of care and whether people should be hospitalized.
“People with COVID infections can have a range of symptoms, from no symptoms to very mild symptoms, similar to those of the common cold, to more serious illness, including pneumonia and other complications. “, did he declare.
“Clinicians regularly examine patients with COVID, determine where they are best suited, and if you don’t need to be in the hospital for your clinical care for other reasons, you are often better off at home. . “
At least 10 people have died in their homes in western Sydney or southwest Sydney during the current outbreak of COVID-19, which began in mid-June.
They include the man in his 60s reported on Saturday – who had not been tested for the virus before his death and was not being taken care of by NSW Health – and a mother of four in her 30s who died on Thursday one day. after being tested for the virus.
With pressure on the healthcare sector not set to peak until October, Hazzard again acted to reassure the community the system would face.
“They have good plans and we will be protected,” he said.
What demands health workers is non-emergency calls, Hazzard said.
“Yesterday was the second busiest day for ambulances they’ve had in the history of the state,” he said, adding that paramedics had responded to calls for dressings and antibiotics.
“Really, you have to understand that we are in the middle of a pandemic. There is no place for people to make non-emergency calls. “
Some good news’
Some 1,533 cases of COVID were reported in New South Wales on Saturday, along with four deaths, including a man in his 60s who died at his home in western Sydney.
A woman in her 80s, a man in his 50s and a man in his 70s, all from Greater Sydney, have died in hospital; none have been vaccinated.
The deaths bring the state’s current epidemic toll to 123.
The “good news” is that nearly 130,000 vaccinations were given in New South Wales on Friday, Hazzard said, urging those who were hesitant to roll up their sleeves.
“What we have seen in Europe and the United States is that it becomes a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and they will miss out on the freedoms and opportunities that the rest of us will have.”