Pandemic capacity boost

THE state total of coronavirus cases as of 6am this morning stands at 1299, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Australia to 6458.

The total number of deaths by COVID-19 in Australia is at 63.

Stage three restrictions are set to be in place for at least four more weeks until May 11, midnight.

Capacity boost 

To ensure Victoria’s health system is fully prepared for an increase in coronavirus cases, the State Government has rolled out more than 700 hospital beds across the state.

The government’s $1.9 billion boost allowed the increased bed capacity and ensured buildings no longer being used for healthcare could be re-purposed to do so.

The boost will see capacity increases at hospitals around the state including the former Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, the former Geelong Private Hospital, Bendigo hospital, Shepparton hospital, the Alfred hospital, Austin hospital, Monash Medical Centre Clayton and Casey hospital.

The increase will improve ICU for COVID-19 cases, but will also ensure people suffering other illnesses or health issues receive the care they need.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said the hospital admissions have remained steady thanks to the actions people were taking to slow the spread, but now was not the time to become complacent.

“By bringing hundreds of additional beds online in just a few short weeks we now have additional capacity available to our health system right across the state to help our hospitals deal with this pandemic and so Victorians will get the care they need – no matter their condition,” she said.

“The most important thing though is for Victorians to continue to stay home, so we can continue to flatten the curve – and save lives.”

Unemployment rate; better than expected

Research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics demonstrated an unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent for March 2020 after experts predicted it would be up to at least 5.4 per cent.

Trend estimates included employment increase of 16,800 to 13,020,500 people; full-time increased 8800 to 8,888,900 and part-time increased 8000 to 4,131,600.

Unemployment increased 3500 to 713,300 people.

The ABS will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on labour force statistics.

Ninety-four-year-old woman survives COVID-19 

After being in hospital for broken ribs, Maureen Appleby, 94, contracted coronavirus during her time at the Austin Hospital.

Yesterday however, the great-grandmother left the hospital COVID-19-free and exited through a guard of honour formed by the hospital staff.

Ms Appleby said she ‘fought it back’ and ‘got there’.

Her son was also hospitalised after contracting the virus through an unknown community transmission, and was able to leave with her yesterday.