A leading Australian doctor has warned of a Covid ‘double whammy’ set to strike hospitals across the nation over the next few weeks as cases continue to climb.

Australian Medical Association Vice President Dr Chris Moy told Sunrise on Tuesday there is currently ‘pressure right across the system’ with shortages adding to the evolving situation as staff are also forced to stay at home and isolate after being infected. 

‘It has had an effect on hospitals, GPs and aged care,’ Dr Moy said.

‘It is due to everybody getting sick at the same time… staff are also getting sick which has been significant. 

‘There are some growing concerns… this new Covid wave has created a potential for us to be in strife.

Australian Medical Association Vice President Dr Chris Moy told Sunrise on Tuesday there is currently 'pressure right across the system' as Covid patients continue to flood to hospitals in record numbers (pictured, staff at the Prince of Wales Hospital in NSW)

Australian Medical Association Vice President Dr Chris Moy told Sunrise on Tuesday there is currently 'pressure right across the system' as Covid patients continue to flood to hospitals in record numbers (pictured, staff at the Prince of Wales Hospital in NSW)

Australian Medical Association Vice President Dr Chris Moy told Sunrise on Tuesday there is currently ‘pressure right across the system’ as Covid patients continue to flood to hospitals in record numbers (pictured, staff at the Prince of Wales Hospital in NSW)

Hospital patient numbers with Covid continue to rise across the nation, especially in NSW and Victoria the past 48 hours

Hospital patient numbers with Covid continue to rise across the nation, especially in NSW and Victoria the past 48 hours

Hospital patient numbers with Covid continue to rise across the nation, especially in NSW and Victoria the past 48 hours

Every Sydney local government area except four has more than 1,000 active Covid cases (shaded in black)

Every Sydney local government area except four has more than 1,000 active Covid cases (shaded in black)

Every Sydney local government area except four has more than 1,000 active Covid cases (shaded in black)

This map from NSW Health shows how far Omicron has spread across the state and which areas have been worst hit (in black) and regions least affected (in yellow)

This map from NSW Health shows how far Omicron has spread across the state and which areas have been worst hit (in black) and regions least affected (in yellow)

This map from NSW Health shows how far Omicron has spread across the state and which areas have been worst hit (in black) and regions least affected (in yellow)

‘Covid patients also require more care than say someone who has had a heart attack.

‘The (current) ability to provide health care is stretched.’ 

Dr Moy’s ominous view is in stark contrast to University of NSW epidemiologist James Wood, who predicts the Omicron wave will rise and taper off rapidly, based on the outbreaks experienced in South Africa, New York and London.

He believes cities were likely to see a peak before the regions, and that different states will be hit worst at different times.

‘In general, I expect the case peak to be within the next one to three weeks in NSW (delayed a week or two in other states), with hospital occupancy peaking about a week later,’ Professor Wood told The Australian.

Hospital patient numbers have increased dramatically in Victoria and NSW the past 48 hours, with the number of patients in ICU rising 15 per cent.

Some hospitals are even warning people to stay at home unless treatment is ‘absolutely necessary.’

On Tuesday, NSW recorded 23,131 new Covid cases and two deaths on Tuesday – while Victoria’s cases have doubled to 14,020 new infections.

Hospital admissions jumped from 1,204 to 1,344 in NSW while a further 10 patients were admitted to ICU overnight bringing the total to 105.

Victoria’s cases have doubled from the 8,577 infections detected on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, Australia tallied its highest number of daily Covid-19 infections since the pandemic began with 36,742 cases, as hospitalisations continue to climb.

Victoria's cases are also mostly spread across the centre of Melbourne (pictured in dark blue)

Victoria's cases are also mostly spread across the centre of Melbourne (pictured in dark blue)

Victoria’s cases are also mostly spread across the centre of Melbourne (pictured in dark blue)

NSW recorded 23,131 new Covid cases and two deaths on Tuesday while Victoria leapt to 14,020 infections as the states continues to battle the Omicron outbreak

NSW recorded 23,131 new Covid cases and two deaths on Tuesday while Victoria leapt to 14,020 infections as the states continues to battle the Omicron outbreak

NSW recorded 23,131 new Covid cases and two deaths on Tuesday while Victoria leapt to 14,020 infections as the states continues to battle the Omicron outbreak

Despite the rising case numbers, health officials are quietly hopeful the worst of Australia's horror Omicron wave will be over within weeks (pictured, Sydneysiders at Bondi on Monday)

Despite the rising case numbers, health officials are quietly hopeful the worst of Australia's horror Omicron wave will be over within weeks (pictured, Sydneysiders at Bondi on Monday)

Despite the rising case numbers, health officials are quietly hopeful the worst of Australia’s horror Omicron wave will be over within weeks (pictured, Sydneysiders at Bondi on Monday)

Tuesday’s numbers come after scientists revealed the peak of the country’s Omicron outbreak could be in sight, just weeks after the first transmission was recorded.

Almost 60 per cent – 20,794 infections – were in NSW as the state recorded its third biggest daily total while Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and South Australia all reported their highest ever numbers of cases.

Fears remain that NSW and Victoria could record up to 100,000 cases a day by the the end of January as horror maps of both states break down the worst-hit regions.

But federal health officials are quietly hopeful the worst of the Omicron wave could be over within weeks, with international modelling showing promising signs that the variant peaks quickly before petering out just eight weeks later. 

AUSTRALIA’S NEW COVID RULES

Who should get a PCR test? Anyone who has symptoms or who has got a positive rapid antigen test

New definition of close contact: Someone who has spent at least four hours in a household or a care facility with a positive case. Workplaces do not count.

New isolation period: Positive people and close contacts must isolate for seven days or 10 in SA. This is regardless of whether the close contacts test negative or not

Timing: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT implemented the new rules on New Year’s Eve.

Tasmania followed on January 1 while the Northern Territory and Western Australia will not adopt the scheme until they get more Covid cases in the weeks ahead.

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Source: DailyMail

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