The Australian Medical Association’s Victorian president has warned those calling for Australia to accept more COVID-19 deaths in return for opening up could cause hospitals to be overflowing with patients.
Dr Roderick McRae said health workers across the field were exhausted from two years of battling COVID-19 outbreaks and the hospital systems in Victoria and New South Wales were struggling to cope.
He added the scenes in hospitals could mirror those horrific images from the UK, US or Italy from last year.
“It will be exactly what you have seen from overseas,” Dr McRae told ABC News 24 on Sunday.
“Once a person is in hospital, they will go wherever they go on their disease ladder and will be discharged or have to progress up the to higher levels of support, including the Intensive Care Unit, and some people will die.
“A lot of business folks are saying, “Oh, let’s get used to this. People die from everything,” and that is correct.
“However, every person making helpful statements like that have forgotten that they may be the very person they are talking about who dies because of a lack of ability to get everybody into a hospital to receive the supports that they require.”
Dr McRae doesn’t believe Victoria’s cases will end up passing 1000 cases a day like in NSW but he still sees it as a possibility if people stop following health advice.
“I’m not expecting it, but it is a foreseeable outcome and, in fact, this is potential that this is the peak and it will plateau downwards,” Dr McRae told ABC News 24.
“But we know this is incredibly infectious so if one member of a household, whether a share house of university students or a family of any number of generations, if one person bring it is in the front door, everybody has got it.”
With springtime approaching, Dr McRae urged people to continue seeking COVID-19 tests for respiratory symptoms, even if they suffer from hay fever.
“Don’t forget we are coming into the allergy, hay fever season, respiratory symptoms are very, very similar and it is important that people just don’t think, “Oh, that’s my annual hey fever,” Dr McRae said.
“The way the virus is going around in metropolitan Melbourne, it is COVID-19, and it is COVID-19 until it is proved not to be, and the way to do that is to have the test, as the Chief Health Officer has advised.
“The system needs to make it easier for people to become tested because it is horrible to be sitting either at the moment in rain or later on in the heat for hours to got a test, but people are turning up.”