More than one million Australians tested for coronavirus, but authorities warn pandemic isn't over

May 16, 2020

By SBS Australia

Australia has now surpassed more than one million COVID-19 tests since the start of the pandemic.

On Saturday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd announced that 1,015,652 coronavirus tests had been carried out nationally.

It came as 193 people were tested for COVID-19 at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre, after an aged care nurse was found to have the virus.

All tested negative, including 114 residents.

Prof Kidd said the incident "does reinforce a really important message".

"If you have symptoms, no matter how mild, don't ignore them .. arrange to be tested. This is a very tricky virus," he said.

As states and territories further loosen restrictions this weekend, Prof Kidd said Australians "must remain vigilant".

"We hope the measures we have in place in Australia will not result in a resurgence nationwide of COVID-19, and so it's important everyone is adhering to the physical distancing measures," he said.

"People do feel a little bit relaxed in some parts of the country now we've had the very small step of lifting the restrictions, and we can't afford to become complacent."

 

Staff wearing face masks outside the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, Sydney.

Staff wearing face masks outside the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, Sydney.

AAP

 

Prof Kidd said Australians over 70 and those who are immunocompromised or have other health problems should still stay at home apart from essential outings.

"The pandemic is not over. The risk to vulnerable people remains significant."

Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone said there is still a risk the virus could flare up as hot spots or small outbreaks.

"If we do the wrong things, we risk undoing all the gains that we've made so far," Dr Batone told the ABC.

Prof Kidd also recognised that many people are enduring "anxiety and stress and fear" as a result of the pandemic.

"Many people are experiencing very significant financial stress due to job losses, many people are feeling very lonely and isolated, separated from family members and loved ones in other parts of the country," he said.

"If you're feeling distressed, please reach out for assistance."

On Saturday evening, Australia's total number of infections sat at 7,036 cases with 98 deaths.

The post about “More than one million Australians tested for coronavirus, but authorities warn pandemic isn't over” appeared first on the SBS Australia website.

***

To engage in helping and supporting our Latin American community impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, seek or share information, events, news, forums, and critical connection and collaboration opportunities during this time of mass isolation, join our community at COVID-19 Support Group.

Not yet a member? Get connected and be inspired by more incredible Latin American and Australian professionals. Join the growing Somos21 Community.


Other news