Doctors warn Australia is heading for Italy-level disaster – hard surface cleaning now imperative

Australian doctors have issued an urgent plea to governments to immediately change course in their response to COVID-19.
Key points:
The doctors warn of an Italy-style disaster in Australia unless stricter measures are enforced
The pleas are made in an open-letter circulating online among doctors
The letter has almost 4,000 signatories, the author says
The doctors are demanding state and federal governments implement strict lockdown and social distancing, and ramp up health resources to cope with a surge in critically ill patients.
The demands are outlined in an open letter currently circulating among doctors.
The letter’s author, intensive care specialist Greg Kelly, told the ABC he consulted with intensive care colleagues at several major hospitals in Melbourne and Sydney when formulating the call for action.
“We are almost at 4,000 signatories,” he said, adding he was confident “at least 3,500” were doctors.
The ABC has not been able to verify those figures.
Doctors warn against Italy-level disaster
According to the letter, Australia’s health system and spread of age demographics are similar to Italy’s, rather than China’s.
“On current growth rates, the 300 cases in Australia today will be … 10,000 by the 4th of April” the letter reads.
They argue that under current preparations, Australia will be “in a worse position than Italy is currently in”.
Italian doctors are reporting they do not have the necessary ventilators and other resources needed to save critically ill COVID-19 patients, and they have been forced to make the wrenching choice between patients who can be helped and those who will be refused the treatment necessary to save their lives.
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The Australian doctors’ letter points out that the death rate in Italy is “very high” — much higher than in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in late December.
It calls on the Government to heed the lessons of China, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan, which have enforced widespread economic lockdown and social distancing measures greater than what have so far been adopted in Australia.
The Federal Government said today it was taking medical advice on whether it needed to bring in a new wave of restrictions.

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