The email sent by Safer Care Victoria’s chief medical officer, Professor Andrew Wilson, says that as of August 8, 1,835 healthcare workers had been infected with the virus.
The figure includes healthcare workers with active infections and those who have recovered from the virus. Of those infected, 50 were confirmed to have contracted the virus in a health care setting, Wilson said, including 12 doctors, 29 nurses and nine other health care professionals such as paramedics and paramedics.Wilson, who also chairs the Victoria PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) working group, said in an email: “Healthcare procurement is still under investigation for 1,598 healthcare workers. ”
This calls into question statements by Health Minister Jenny Mikakos ahead of the parliamentary inquiry into the Victorian government’s response to Covid-19, that up to 15% of people with active infections had been infected with job. The source of many cases is still under investigation. She said Wilson would investigate how health workers were infected.
“We will engage with organizations to dig deeper into these issues and what more we could do to protect our dedicated healthcare workers in their important work,” Mikakos said Tuesday.
Asked by Guardian Australia to clarify Mikakos’ comments, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria said that while an “early” analysis of public health data showed the majority of healthcare workers were contracting coronavirus outside of work, “a more detailed analysis is underway to better understand the nature of transmission for the smallest proportion of cases acquired in the workplace”.
“It’s important to understand whether this is happening with colleagues, during a break for example, or from patient to doctor, even with PPE,” he said. “Healthcare workers also cover a range of settings, so it’s also important to divide them between elderly care, primary care and hospitals so that we have a clear picture of what’s going on. This more in-depth analysis is underway and we should be able to share the results early next week. “
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews told reporters on Wednesday that “the majority of healthcare workers contract coronavirus outside of the workplace.” “I’m not passing judgment on this, that’s what the data tells us,” Andrews said. But he didn’t say most of the infections were still under investigation.
A doctor working at a large public hospital in Melbourne told Guardian Australia she was angry politicians were not being publicly transparent. “The job itself is not a problem when we believe the proper safety practices are in place,” she said. “It’s seeing the massive number of infections of healthcare workers – the denial of the importance of these infections, that is the greatest source of anxiety.
“No one would want to criticize the government for openly declaring that it does not know [the source of infections] but they are working hard to figure it out. The hospital I work in has been hit hard – 136 staff members infected, at least 460 more on leave since early July. But they showed real leadership and openly admitted that many cases had been acquired at work, improved their safety policy, and there was transparency in reporting and a commitment to focus on safety. As a result, morale is surprisingly high. I would like this to be generalized, as many hospitals are still not transparent about the number of infections at work.
She said he suspected the 50 confirmed workplace infections would turn out to be much higher. “There would be over 50 at my hospital alone,” she said.
Wilson’s email indicated that the PPE working group had approved the allocation based on the needs of the N95 / P2 respirators, and that the allocations for each health service would be based on the size of the workforce. works, with a weighting in favor of use in intensive care, emergency departments and Covid- 19 wards, in particular “during emergency surgery and aerosol-generating procedures”.
“The allocation model is designed to over-allocate rather than under-allocate,” the email said. “As such, the usage assumptions underlying the model are slightly superior to current guidance on the proper use of PPE. Health services should adhere to current guidance on PPE, rather than assumptions about using the model. “