COVID Omicron strain changes game, Delta rules need to be reset, experts say | Canberra Times

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Isolation times for asymptomatic COVID patients should be cut to reduce hospital staff shortages while Omicron is running amok, experts say. Concerns are growing over the potentially crippling effect of Omicron on Australia’s hospital system, with around 2,000 healthcare workers in NSW currently isolating themselves after being declared close COVID-19 contacts. The United States has halved the quarantine requirements for infected COVID-19 patients who do not experience symptoms, which are now free after five days in isolation. Experts urge Australia to follow suit and call for rules that originally applied to the Delta tribe to be reset. Associate Professor of Medicine at the Australian National University Sanjaya Senanayake says Omicron has moved the goalposts and calls for a more “pragmatic” approach to isolation. “When we had these longer periods of isolation and quarantine, it was because, we had a strain that was more likely to cause serious illness and overwhelm the hospital system,” said Dr. Senanayake. “We need to take into account that Omicron is less serious. We need to think about the way the United States has done to shorten isolation times for people with COVID and quarantine times for close contacts.” Dr. Senanayake said the focus should be on hospitalizations and intensive care units “though Omicron can break through”. He said the ACT has benefited from a more vaccinated and sensible population, but warned “we just have to be very careful.” Chief Physician Paul Kelly estimated on Wednesday that two-thirds of patients in the intensive care unit throughout NSW were unvaccinated, and Dr. Senanayake said more data would be useful in determining the way forward with Omicron. “If it’s mostly unvaccinated people who are admitted, then the strategy will have to be different than if it is fully vaccinated and booster patients with Omicron who are going to the hospital,” he said. “So if it’s the former, you might actually be thinking about whether we should restrict movements for unvaccinated people.” A geriatric care facility in Adelaide has been staffed by paramedics for days, with staff forced into isolation following an outbreak. Senior Lecturer in Medicine at the Australian National University David Caldicott warned that it would be a common occurrence if Omicron were allowed to run wild. “They are not hospitalized, they are not dying, they are not inside [the] ICU. But they can not show up to work, “he said.” There is a confusion between the impact of Omicron on a single individual and what its impact is likely to be on the broader health care system on the logistical side. “Caldicott said. that health care “breathed a collective sigh of relief” as the Delta variant slowed, but now assumed the situation would get “far worse before it gets better.” “We bandage our wounds and get ready to go back on the battlefield . . There is no one in the health care system itself who feels that this is over, it’s fat, it’s mild, “he said. Dr. Caldicott said that relieving the burden of intensive care was a matter of repeating tried and tested measures. over the new year, including density limits and mask wearing. But he accepted that there was a “political imperative” for leaders who are afraid of electoral consequences after reintroducing harsh measures. “It is no longer a mystery to us. We really are a stupid, stupid species if we can not learn from two years of experience. We probably would not even deserve to survive Omicron, “he said.” Encouraging people to go to New Year’s Eve does not represent the pinnacle of health advice. ” arrived, scrapping requirements for mask and QR codes prior to Christmas.But he turned the course as the daily number of cases rose to 6000, with the limits of indoor density returning on the second day of Christmas.While most people working in ACT Health , was “fairly satisfied” with the territory’s response to COVID-19, Dr. Calidicott warned against following NSW’s “pyromaniac trends.”[If] “another jurisdiction thinks it’s a good idea to set itself on fire, it should not necessarily follow that all other jurisdictions should set themselves on fire in the same way,” he said. “Prime Minister Scott Morrison has firmly insisted that Australia will not return to lockdowns, urging states Caldicott said Omicron’s proliferation was “largely self-inflicted” in many jurisdictions and was “almost entirely political” in origin. the staff was on holiday – contrary to “the most basic” health principles. “Had this appeared outside the Christmas period, we might have seen a very different reaction,” he said. “I think Christmas has taken that into account. , but it’s Christmas with this very determined striving to open up to hell or high tide. “

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