WA Doctors Call For Reintroduction Of Mask Mandates As Covid19 Cases Soar

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The Australian Medical Association (WA) is pleading with the State Government to reintroduce mask mandates as the state continues to break Covid-19 records.

With 17,105 infections overnight, the case numbers now sit at 88,781 active cases in the state. 300 people are in hospital with Covid-19, while 10 are in intensive care. Six people have died overnight, including a woman aged in her forties.

Today AMA (WA) President Dr Mark Duncan-Smith pleaded with the McGowan government to bring back masks mandates - and for people to voluntarily mask up.

“The McGowan Government, by not acting to reintroduce masks, has put us on a course for the next few weeks where we’re going to get undesirable results. We’re going to face critical problems, which are a direct result of that inability to act and reintroduce masks.”

He said the hospital system is already experiencing major stress and crisis, including critical ramping, critical ambulance shortages, and effective cancellation of elective surgeries. 

“I’ve called for people to voluntarily mask up for WA to try and at least get some sort of suppression of the numbers. But really, the mask mandate I think should have been reintroduced a week ago in a very conservative measure. I certainly still call for it to be done now. Remember that if we start to wear masks now, it’s going to take a week before that will have any effect to reduce new cases, and it will take two weeks before it has any effect on reducing hospitalisations. So yes, I still call for the masks to return, and hopefully the numbers won’t get too out of hand."

WA has a third-dose vaccination rate of 81.1 per cent for people aged 16 and over.

Chief health officer Andy Robertson said last week he expected WA to endure a new peak of up to 25,000 cases per day within weeks.

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19 May 2022

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