NSW COVID case grows, Victoria COVID case grows, Code brown declared Victorian hospitals, Tonga volcanic eruption begins, Qld COVID case grows, ACT COVID case grows, SA COVID case grows, Australian Open 2022 continues

Victoria’s shadow health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier says the Victorian government has had two years to respond to the pandemic, but has failed to plan adequately for an increase in COVID-19 cases.

As reported earlier today, a nationwide “code brown” has been called for the Victorian hospital system in response to chronic staff shortages.

The health spokeswoman for the Victorian opposition, Georgie Crozier.

The health spokeswoman for the Victorian opposition, Georgie Crozier.Credit:Justin McManus

As Timna Jacks reported, code brown is typically reserved for shorter lasting emergencies, such as a train accident or bushfire, and is intended to ease the pressure on the hospital system. Today’s initiatives apply to all metropolitan hospitals and six regional hospitals.

Under a brown code, hospitals can cancel leave for healthcare professionals to remedy massive shortages due to workers becoming infected with COVID-19 or isolating themselves because they are a close contact of a confirmed case. The measure started at noon today and will last for four to six weeks.

“Code brown just demonstrates the scale of the health crisis,” Ms Crozier said. “It could have been avoided if the planning and preparation had been put in place.”

The Victorian opposition has long called for the lifting of coronavirus restrictions and criticized the Andrews government for lockdown measures.

Cause Party leader Fiona Patten said she hoped the state was close to reaching its peak for Omicron cases so admissions begin to fall.

“My heart goes out to the healthcare staff. They have already made it hard, but what code brown means is that they want to make it harder, ”said Mrs Patten.

“They will be denied leave. They could be put on extra shifts, extra overtime.”

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