More than one million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Australia health officials have confirmed, as states and territories begin to ease restrictions across the weekend.
Speaking in Canberra, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd said 20 new cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the past 24 hours with no new deaths.
“We have 49 people in hospitals across the country with COVID-19, 16 people are in intensive care units and 12 people are on ventilators,” Prof Kidd said.
“The big figure is as of 3pm (Saturday) … there have been over one million tests for COVID-19 carried out in Australia, to be exact 1,015,652 tests conducted right across the country.”
Prof Kidd said while 6362 people in Australia have recovered from COVID-19 and fewer than 100 people have lost their lives, health experts were concerned about the mental health of Australians who have lost their jobs or were suffering stress due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We recognise that many people are experiencing anxiety and stress and fear as a result of the pandemic,” he said.
“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, or overseas,” he said.
Prof Kidd urged anyone suffering distressed to ask for help.
“It’s essential during the pandemic that people continue to receive the regular health care that they would normally be receiving at other times, so please if you haven’t had an appointment for the last two months please reach out and arrange an appointment by telehealth over here consultation today.”
Despite an easing of some restrictions, Prof Kidd said older Australians and those with serious chronic conditions must remain vigilant.
“With restrictions being relaxed a little across each of the states and territories over the past week, we still need to remain vigilant, we still all need to be doing our part to ensure that we don’t experience a resurgence of cases in Australia.
“We cannot afford to become complacent the pandemic is not over the risk to vulnerable people remains significant in Australia, and so for those of you who are aged over 70, or who have a serious chronic condition that may put you at increased risk of COVID-19, or if you’re immune compromised please continue to remain at home.”