Premier Peter Malinauskas has revealed that Covid cases could reach up to 8000 a day in April, as he outlines new plans on how his government will tackle the pandemic.
Covid case numbers are likely to hit 8000 in April, as Premier Peter Malinauskas announces changes to how his government will manage the pandemic.
Mr Malinauskas said an urgent plan to boost hospital capacity would be launched amid fears cases could hit 8000 a day by April.
The University of Adelaide modelling showed hospitalisations could reach more than 200 a day.
Mr Malinauskas said he learnt on Monday that all non-urgent elective surgery in public hospitals was banned last Friday.
“If you want to know why we have different isolation requirements in SA, that has been an informing factor,” he said.
“Make no mistake, our hospital system is under strain.
“Case numbers are set to escalate in a significant way.
“I have directed SA Health to rapidly prepare a plan for urgent additional hospital preparedness for a rise in Covid cases.”
He also announced the Covid-Ready Committee will be abolished and replaced with the Emergency Management Council, which will be a sub-committee of Cabinet. Crown lawyers will also develop new laws to replace the Emergency Management Act.
“I don’t want to chair a meeting that doesn’t have the power to make decisions. Hence that policy change.”
A new campaign will be launched to encourage South Australians to get their booster dose after rates remained stagnant for the past few weeks at 69 per cent.
The Premier has asked SA Health to expedite national guidelines with isolation and quarantine, as he said there were likely more announcements to come on Friday regarding restrictions.
“National consistency should be something we all gravitate towards,” he said.
He announced that Chris Picton would be the new health minister under his government, to be sworn in on Thursday.
WATCH LIVE HERE
Mr Malinauskas on Monday met with the state’s Covid authorities for a briefing on all aspects of South Australia’s pandemic response as well as the current rules on masks, close contact isolation and quarantine.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens briefed Mr Malinauskas on how the Emergency Management Act was operating two years after he imposed the major declaration.
Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier also gave advice on close contact rules and mask use, which she is understood to be in favour of keeping.
Government sources said health chiefs were preparing to advise an easing of close contact rules, especially for families, from the current fortnight in quarantine to a week of isolation.
The meeting, also attended by Department of Premier and Cabinet chief executive Nick Reade, SA Health boss Dr Chris McGowan and incoming health minister Chris Picton, was also told how the state’s restrictions compare to the rest of the country.
Originally published as Covid cases in SA set to hit 8000 a day in April