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Australia’s chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy has written to GPs regarding Covid-19 pathology testing.
The letter, dated 13 March, asks doctors directly for their help, as many Australians are getting unnecessarily tested for the virus putting pressure on medical supplies. Murphy wrote:
U nfortunately, the extreme pressure on our personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks continues, and the situation regarding pathology test kits, reagents and swabs is deteriorating rapidly, with kits no longer being available in some regions of the country.
Pathology collection centres have also experienced large backlogs in testing appointments in some parts of Australia, and emergency testing facilities have had to be established in some areas to ensure that urgent patients can get access to testing.
The premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan is giving a press conference. Another three cases of the virus have been detected in Western Australia on Saturday, all travellers from overseas. That brings the state to a total of 17 cases.
McGowan is talking about the agreement reached between the states, territories and federal government for a national cabinet of Australia. McGowan said:
This means all of the leaders of each of the governments of Australia will form a group to meet regularly and to form important decisions in relation to coronavirus. This has never been done before in Australia. This is an Australian-first, since Federation. So this didn’t happen in wartime, this is the first time that we have done this as a nation.
I want to make sure that there is collaborative decision-making, that we are making decisions on behalf of the entire nation. The states are as one on this. The states need to work together. The boundaries are dropping away in relation to confronting this, and we are working together as Australians to confront this threat to our nation.
This is a very significant issue for Australia, and we want to work together. We have been through was together, we have been through depressions, we have been through all sorts of national upheavals. Australians can withstand this if we work together, if we co-operate, if we are reasonable to each other.
Read more: theguardian.com