Thursday 19th of May 2022

let it R.I.P....


NSW residents have been warned to brace themselves for high numbers of COVID-19 deaths in the coming days as the state’s healthcare workers battle exhaustion in the face of rising hospitalisations.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard hit out at people who have chosen not to get vaccinated, saying they needed “to give a damn about someone other than” themselves.

“Give a damn about your community, your family and most particularly, the health staff across NSW who you expect to be looking after you if and when you end up in our hospital system,” he said.

The state recorded 29,504 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths in the latest reporting period.


Of the new infections, 11,858 were detected from rapid antigen kits and 17,646 were from PCR testing.

There are 2776 people in hospital with the virus, of whom 203 are in intensive care units.

The latest deaths mean 214 people have lost their lives with the virus in NSW over the past two weeks.

A week after the vaccination rollout for children aged five to 11 began, 13.1 per cent have received one dose.


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scramble towards SNAFUs...

The number of aged-care homes suffering COVID outbreaks more than doubled again last week to 1107, the number of residents with the virus jumped by 141 per cent, and the sector ran out of workforce surge staff the week before.

As previously reported here, the exponential explosion is on track to have outbreaks in practically every home outside Western Australia next week, imprisoning some 180,000 Australians.

There were 1370 active resident cases on January 7. On January 14, there were 3208 and 39 people had died.


Residential aged-care staffing is beyond crisis level.

Active staff cases last week also more than doubled from 1835 to 3806, with more unable to work due to close contact status, even with the winding back of the “close contact” definition.

Staff already were commonly working 12-hour shifts.

The weekly federal Health Department report indicates the system has run out of surge staff.

In reality, there have been precious few surge staff available since the Omicron variant took off here.

Between December 3 and January 7, surge staff from various agencies filled only 5000 shifts.

Last week as the outbreaks spiralled, there was none.

Earlier last year when they were COVID-free, the Tasmanian, West Australian and South Australian governments supplied 50 workforce surge staff, along with 70 National Aged Care Emergency Response personnel – but that deployment finished months ago, before Omicron broke out.


Homes phoning private agencies for more staff are being told there simply aren’t any.

Under Public Health Unit control, homes typically go into full Tier 0 lockdown during an outbreak – residents confined to their rooms with only end-of-life visits.

Figures are not available for Tier 1 lockdowns – residents allowed out of their rooms but confined to barracks with only compassionate visits – but it would be several hundred more homes in that category given the prevalence of Omicron in the community and PHU sensitivity.

Under present policies, elderly Australians are facing indefinite rolling lockdowns, the confinement clock resetting with each outbreak.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has claimed the rollout of vaccine boosters is “ahead of expectations and schedule” – yet hundreds of homes have not received them as the government scrambles.


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NSW has sustained its deadliest day of the pandemic with 36 COVID-19 deaths recorded in the latest reporting period.

The number of people with the virus in hospital rose to 2,850, while ICU admissions were up slightly to 209.

There were a total of 29,830 new cases in the reporting period, taken from 13,763 RAT tests and 16,067 PCR tests.

Previously, the highest number of deaths recorded in a day was 29.

The latest fatality figure brings the total number of NSW COVID-19 deaths to 919.

LIVE UPDATES: Read our blog for the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic

Despite the growing death toll, a strained health system and worker shortages across many sectors, Premier Dominic Perrottet was confident about his government's handling of the outbreak.

"Based on the vaccination rate in this state … we can remain safe and will push through this next challenging period of time," he told ABC Radio Sydney this morning. 

"This is not simply a New South Wales issue — this is a global issue ... and our settings mirror the settings in Victoria. 

"We're not an island here in New South Wales." 

Mr Perrottet acknowledged people were anxious about the state's virus crisis, but insisted living with COVID-19 was the only way forward.

"[Lockdowns] might minimise transmission of the virus but then as you open up again we will have the virus spread," he said.


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Notice the REDUCTION in the number of tests.... Lest test = less infection detection...


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riding the wave...


My question for my local member, who also happens to be the Premier, is: has the COVID-19 death toll of 46 yesterday now reached the “best-case predictions” that he seems to think removes his responsibility for doing something that has any chance of stopping this shocking state of affairs, or do we have to push through until there are few of us oldies left (“NSW records 46 deaths, including a baby, and 25,168 new COVID-19 cases”,, January 21)? Come election time, those of us who survive won’t forget his and the PM’s apparently callous behaviour. Darryl Drake, Epping



“We continue to track better than our best-case scenario,” Dominic Perrottet announced after the state’s deadliest day. Loved ones would disagree. Lived reality and the Premier’s pronouncements are alternative universes. Sharelle Fellows, Gulgong



After yesterday’s appalling figures, I would like some answers. How many disabled people (my friends) will have to die, before the NSW government will admit that it took a huge risk with our lives, admit that this experiment is a fail and apologise to me and my friends and the state? George Peterson, Bathurst



I am an intelligent, healthy, active older woman, retired psychologist, an avid reader, politically aware, a wife, mother and grandmother (Letters, January 21).
If I die of COVID-19 I’ll be a vaccinated 70-year-old woman with a pre-existing condition.
Even a close friend said, “You’re healthy except for your heart.” She’s already put me in that category. There were 46 of them yesterday. Sally Shepard, Nelson Bay


Perrottet is encouraged by the latest data on a day when 46 people failed to live with COVID-19. Do these deaths count in the overall scheme of things or do we “leave them on the beaches” as necessary sacrifices? Sad day. Geoffrey Dyer, Bundanoon




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piling bodies...


The NSW government has announced a $1 billion support package for businesses hit by the Omicron outbreak as the state records its deadliest day of the pandemic so far.

There were 52 deaths and 13,524 new positive COVID-19 tests reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the government had the back of every business and worker in the state.


“No other jurisdiction, no other state to date has provided financial support except NSW because that is the NSW way,” Mr Perrottet told reporters on Sunday.

The package includes a payment of up to $5000 per week, or 20 per cent of payroll, for businesses with a turnover between $75,000 and $50 million who suffered a 40 per cent downturn in January, and project to do the same in February.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said small businesses with face-to-face trading like hairdressing salons and hospitality venues had endured a difficult summer so far.

Getting to ‘the other side’

“When we get out of this wave we expect a snapback and that the economy will bounce back better on the other side of this,” Mr Kean said.

“This is about facilitating small businesses to get through to the other side so that we can bounce back better.”

The treasurer said he was “disappointed” the package was funded by the state as he was hoping to make the announcement alongside the prime minister and federal treasurer but they weren’t “to be found”.

“Rather than the commonwealth government stepping aside we expect them to step up as well,” he said.

The government has extended the Small Business Fees and Charges rebate program to $3000, which can include 50 per cent of the costs incurred to get rapid antigen tests for the workplace.


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