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Australia might faucet protection forces to assist COVID-hit aged-care sector


FILE PHOTO: An Australian Protection Pressure member watches over a coronavirus illness (COVID-19) vaccination clinic on the Bankstown Sports activities Membership as town experiences an prolonged lockdown, in Sydney, Australia, August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY — Australia might use its protection forces to assist handle a COVID-19 outbreak within the aged-care sector that has stretched staffing and compelled many houses into lockdowns, the prime minister stated on Friday as nationwide an infection numbers remained on a downtrend.

The federal government has come underneath stress over the unfold of the Omicron variant in aged-care houses, with Richard Colbeck, minister for senior Australians and aged care companies, drawing criticism after he attended a cricket match as an alternative of showing earlier than a parliamentary committee wanting into the outbreaks.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated he had requested the ministers of protection and well being to see how protection forces might help care houses, the place many employees have needed to isolate due to infections.

Morrison stated about 560 aged-care residents had died since Omicron hit in late 2021.

He instructed reporters the protection power was not a “shadow workforce” for the sector and cautioned towards “easy options to advanced issues” however stated they needed to think about choices.

“If you’re the prime minister, and the minister for well being and aged care, and the minister for protection, you must take care of sensible choices that work,” he stated.

The Australian Defence Pressure has been concerned in managing the pandemic response, with a lieutenant basic put in control of the vaccine rollout and troops made a part of the monitoring of lockdowns in huge cities.

Complete every day COVID-19 infections dipped throughout Australia on Friday and have been on monitor to be the bottom in additional than a month, with about 30,000 new circumstances logged within the greatest states.

With some states nonetheless to report figures, a complete of 81 deaths had been reported on Friday.

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