Victoria’s ‘Code Brown’ Kicks In As Cases Stabalise

Hospitals under extreme pressure

Article heading image for Victoria’s ‘Code Brown’ Kicks In As Cases Stabalise

Joel Carrett/AAP

Victoria's cases steady as an emergency ‘Code Brown’ is activated.

The garden state reported 20,769 new infections on Wednesday and sadly 18 lives lost.

There are currently 235,827 active coronavirus cases, with 1,173 people in hospital with Covid, while 125 of those are in ICU and 42 are on ventilators.

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Of today's new infections,10,726 were detected through positive PCR tests from a total of 49,838 PCR test results received.

While 10,043 cases were reported by Victorians from at-home rapid antigen tests (RATs).

Currently, more than 93 per cent of Victorians aged over 12 are now fully vaccinated, while 26 per cent have received their third dose.

Meanwhile, the Victorian government has declared a pandemic 'code brown', setting emergency protocols into gear.

Announced on Tuesday by Acting Health Minister James Merlino, who warned hospitalisations would peak in the coming weeks.

“Our hospital system is under extreme pressure, and the risks we’re now seeing in Covid hospitalisations is testament to that,” Mr Merlino said.

From Wednesday, Melbourne's public hospitals will start recalling staff from leave and deferring any non-essential treatment.

It's only the third time a "code brown" has been declared in the state, the first was time the 'brown code' was activated was after the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, and again in 2016 because of the thunderstorm asthma event.

Speaking from Canberra on Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly said it was important to keep in mind that authorities are trained for moments like this.

"The private hospital guarantee was activated yesterday, the code brown ... in Victoria. All hospitals and systems have these codes available and when that announcement is made everyone knows exactly what needs to happen next. That is about preparing for the surge and that is what we are seeing right now."

"It sounds alarming, and it is unusual, but it is an appropriate response for Victoria," he said.

The code brown applies to all metropolitan Melbourne public hospitals, as well as major hospitals in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Albury Wodonga and Traralgon.


Join Tom Tilley with regular rotating co-hosts Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi on The Briefing, Monday - Saturday, for the day's headlines and breaking news as well as hot topics and interviews. Available on Listnr.

Hit News Team

18 January 2022

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