The state of Western Australia (WA) continues to see a spike in Covid-19 infections, which arouses concern for its healthcare system. WA Health recorded 16,670 new Covid-19 cases till 8 p.m. Wednesday evening, a slight drop from Wednesday's17,033 cases, a record peak for the state since the pandemic began in Australia in early 2020. There were 275 people hospitalised with eight in the intensive care unit recorded during the same period. The state also reported a further six deaths dating back to May 3, Xinhua news agency reported. WA Premier, Mark McGowan told the press on Wednesday that though the caseload is high, the cases being hospitalisation and intensive care are still below what was predicted.
He also highlighted the rates at which unvaccinated residents were being hospitalised. "More than 50 per cent of the people in hospital haven't had their third vaccine dose, that's a large statistic, 27 per cent of people in hospital haven't had one vaccine dose, now what that says to me is if you're not vaccinated, you run the risk of adverse outcomes," McGowan said. However, the surge of Covid-19 infections still prompted calls for a reintroduction of restrictions as there are concerns that the state's healthcare system may be impacted.
Australian Medical Association WA President, Mark Duncan-Smith said the state's current infection rates were the equivalent of New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, having more than 50,000 cases a day, according to local media SBS News. "There are already critical staff shortages, critical ramping and elective surgery being canceled because ICUs are full," he said. Duncan-Smith also called for a return of some restrictions measures such as the mandatory indoor mask. "Just as it has taken a week for the numbers to go up significantly following the reduced restrictions and dropping the mask mandate, any new public health initiatives will take a week before they have any effect." "In that week there is a danger that our medical system may get smashed."