Australia sends personnel fighting COVID-19 to elderly homes in Melbourne

Sydney, Australia, Jul 29 (efe-epa).- Nurses, military and humanitarian response personnel will be deployed in various homes for the elderly in Melbourne, in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 the city has witnessed since the beginning of the month, the Australian government reported Wednesday.

Seven of the nine deaths with the COVID-19 reported today were registered in the elderly centers, in a day where 295 new cases were confirmed, figures that seem to point to the fact that the peak of the second wave of infections has been exceeded.

The first Australian Medical Assistance (AUSMAT) team will arrive in Mebourne, the capital of the state of Victoria and epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, on Thursday to help contain the virus that has hit hard to the elderly care sector.

“They are the first to intervene in places that need a critical response and help stabilize the situation and provide not only medical and clinical support but also leadership,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today.

The Australian government plans to send seven AUSMAT teams to Victoria, which are part of Australia’s humanitarian response to disasters occurring abroad such as the rescue of children trapped in a cave in Thailand in 2018 or the measles outbreak in Samoa.

In Melbourne, a city of around 5 million people and confined for the second time until August 20, infection with the new coronavirus has been confirmed for more than 800 elderly and employees of 77 of the city’s 465 residences.

In addition, there are over 500 active cases among Victoria’s health workers.

The head of the Victoria government, Daniel Andrews, explained at a press conference that nurses from public hospitals and defense medical personnel have completed 400 shifts in nursing homes.

“This is a massive task that falls to each of these nurses and personal care workers who are behind those 400 (shifts) in challenging and crisis settings and are supporting vulnerable residents,” he said.

Australia, the country that successfully managed the first wave of infections, has recorded more than 15,500 cases since the start of the pandemic – more than half detected during the second wave – including 176 deaths. EFE-EPA


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