Coronavirus ban on elective surgeries including IVF treatment set to be lifted within days as Australia continues to flatten the curve
- Ban on elective surgery and IVF treatment could be lifted in the coming days
- The infection rate of COVID-19 is flattening with new cases below one per cent
- Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said low numbers are a national achievement
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
The ban on elective surgeries including IVF treatment could be lifted within days if Australia continues to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The surgeries were suspended at the end of March in bids to free up more beds for coronavirus patients with only emergency operations going ahead.
Australia’s infection rate of COVID-19 is flattening, with the rate of new cases falling below one per cent, with just 53 confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.
‘The rate of increase in new cases has been below one per cent for seven consecutive days now, and that is an important national achievement,’ federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday.
‘What it means is we now have a sustained and genuine flattening of the curve.’
Mr Hunt said the national cabinet would on Tuesday discuss if certain elective surgeries – including IVF procedures – could resume.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also hinted at stopping the ban on elective surgeries, saying there could be an ‘immediate return in that area’ after Tuesday’s meeting.
The ban on elective surgery and IVF treatment could be lifted in the coming days as Australia is flattening the curve of infection rates. Pictured a nurse at the drive through COVID-19 testing in Bondi
Australia’s infection rate of COVID-19 is flattening, with the rate of new cases falling below one per cent, with just 53 confirmed cases in the past 24 hours
Mr Hunt said authorities were focused on beating the virus.
‘We are winning but we have not won yet. We have to focus on our containment and capacity,’ he said.
The national total of deaths is 70 from 6586 cases. Of those, 184 are in hospital – 51 in ICUs and 33 on ventilation.
New personal protection equipment – including an extra 100 million masks over the next six weeks – will be distributed to health care workers.
An extra 3.5 million doses of the flu vaccine have also been made available.
‘Along with the flu vaccinations, the masks mean we have additional capacity. The masks and the flu vaccinations are protecting our healthcare workers in protecting Australians.’
Nurses seen at the drive through COVID-19 testing clinic in Bondi. The national total of deaths is 70 from 6586 cases
But he and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday warned it was too soon to relax restrictions, including self-isolation and social distancing.
‘When you are as successful in suppression as we are, then the notion of being able to eliminate the coronavirus becomes within reach,’ he told Sky News on Sunday.
‘But I think the most important thing, the national cabinet has agreed, the suppression strategy is working and we need to stay the course on this,’
Chief Nursing Officer Alison McMillan thought it was a ‘ambitious’ to suggest COVID-19 could be eradicated.
‘It’s a pandemic around the world and so we always have the potential to reintroduce it as we, if we were to open our borders,’ she told Sky News.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt (pictured) said on Sunday that the rate of increase in new cases has been below one per cent for seven consecutive days
Meanwhile, Prime Scott Morrison has clarified the app to help trace people who have been in contact with a coronavirus case won’t be mandatory.
He said the government will be seeking the ‘co-operation and support’ of Australians to download the app to help health workers, protect the community and help get the economy going again.
However, a number of coalition politicians won’t download the mobile phone app when it is introduced in the next couple of weeks, citing privacy concerns.
These include Nationals MP and former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Speaker Llew O’Brien.
‘I treasure the government knowing as little about me as possible,’ Mr Joyce told Nine newspapers on Sunday.
Australia has joined calls for an world-wide, and independent, investigation into how the COVID-19 pandemic happened.