Hazzard raises easing extra out of doors restrictions


Mr Hazzard pointed out that the government could soon approve community sport, although it would depend on high vaccination rates.

“I think give us a few more weeks and see how we handle the vaccinations and I’m pretty confident we can move in that area, but we have to increase those vaccination rates.”

Gabriel and Camille, 6, with mother Nathalie Segeral, from Forest Lodge, enjoy nature. Credit:Anna Kucera

He also said he sympathized with the beauty industry given the relatively low cap of five customers that will be imposed on the industry once the state lifts the lockdown in October. He said that “more flexible” arrangements could be worked out for larger premises.

“I like that very much. I would like to convince our chief health officer and other senior epidemiologists, but this is where we can get, but I think the responsibility for all of us is to say, ‘Go and get the vaccine,’ ”he said.

However, Labor health spokesman Ryan Park said any relaxation of the rules for outdoor activities must include guidelines on how people who endure the harshest conditions in the city’s COVID hotspots in the southwest could benefit from it.

“Any action supported by health counseling that would help create an incentive to introduce vaccinations would have my support,” said Mr. Park. “But neither can we have a situation where people are promised freedoms, they are doing the right thing and get vaccinated and there are no guarantees.”

The Griffiths family of Redfern at the Murray Rose Pool.Credit:Anna Kucera

Mr Park said the government’s promises were in contradiction to an impending healthcare crisis anyway as hospitals prepare for an expected surge in acute care needs in the coming weeks. “We shouldn’t overtake each other,” said Mr. Park. “We still have a long way to go before we can open up.”

A senior physician in the NSW hospital system, who asked for anonymity as he was not allowed to speak publicly, said the hospitals in Liverpool, Nepean, Westmead and Concord are “just breaking … the reality is much grimmer than they think “. “.

“October and November will be very ugly,” he told The Sun-Herald. “We’re going to peak in hospital stays as soon as we open things up.”

The doctor said while bed capacity in the intensive care unit (ICU) is likely to be exceeded, putting a strain on doctors and nurses’ ability to treat COVID patients, “many significant, semi-urgent cases are not being dealt with.” For cancer patients, for example, treatment could be delayed by months, with the effects of reduced life expectancy not becoming apparent until the coming years.

NSW Health Secretary Brad Hazzard said he was more concerned about unvaccinated people than crowds on Sydney's beaches.

NSW Health Secretary Brad Hazzard said he was more concerned about unvaccinated people than crowds on Sydney’s beaches.Credit:Anna Kucera

However, NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the state has an additional surge capacity of up to 2,000 ventilators and 1,550 fully occupied ICU beds.

Brett Holmes, secretary general of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, said resources were depleted in a number of areas, including Sydney’s western health region.

“We are certainly in unfortunate talks” with some hospitals in the area, Holmes said. Issues include staff-to-patient ratios in COVID patients, with nurses already being asked to work double shifts and handle the extra job of keeping personal protective equipment effective.

“You cook in a plastic bag,” he said. “Even getting a drink of water is a big problem.”

“The biggest challenge for everyone is staffing,” said Holmes, adding that around 600 nurses have already been relocated from private hospitals to help COVID patients.

Increasingly, workers with medical training from paramedics to college students and even nutritionists started working in vaccination centers to fire nurses, he said.


The benefits of vaccination in curbing the tide of new ICU cases were reinforced on Friday when staff at Liverpool and Campbelltown hospitals were told that 88 percent of patients had not received any vaccinations.

All other patients had received a dose with no fully vaccinated individuals among those in intensive care, according to a document from The Sun-Herald.

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