Western Australia FINALLY admits Omicron ‘can’t be eliminated’ as a record 24 Covid cases appear just three days after Mark McGowan postponed border opening by MONTHS
- Western Australian health minister made the surprising admission on Sunday
- On Thursday, Mark McGowan axed the state’s reopening date amid Omicron
- Three days later, the state recorded 24 new cases – the largest leap on record
The Western Australian Government admits Omicron cannot be eliminated, despite slamming the borders shut for months at a time in a fruitless bid to keep the state Covid-free.
Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson made the surprising admission at a press conference on Sunday, as 24 cases were recorded – the largest daily leap ever recorded in the state.
‘I think it’s clear that we’re not going to eliminate Omicron, it’s now about how we suppress and manage Omicron,’ she said.
‘There is Omicron in our community, this is serious and high levels of testing and quarantine is our best chance to help minimise the spread and to manage this outbreak.’
Pictured: People wearing face masks in Perth. WA recorded 24 new cases on Sunday
Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) axed his vow to reopen WA to the rest of the country on February 5 – with no new date for free travel to resume
There are now 90 cases, all linked to known infections in Perth.
Ms Sanderson urged locals to get tested if they have symptoms , regardless of whether they have been to an exposure site.
She also said there was an investigation underway after a woman who was suspected of having Covid-19 and her child, who has tested positive, were triaged incorrectly at Fiona Stanley Hospital on Saturday.
They were sent to the emergency department with people who did not have the virus.
The woman alerted hospital staff to her child’s positive test result and did not do anything wrong. Everyone in the department is now a casual contact.
Ms Sanderson said additional training would be given to emergency workers, and the situation was a ‘wake-up call’ for front-line workers
Health minister Amber-Jade Sanderson (pictured) admitted health officials could not contain Omicron
The spike comes after a woman and her Covid-positive child were incorrectly triaged in hospital. Pictured: A woman in a face mask in Perth
There were 4,743 tests were conducted on Saturday, but the health minister said that wasn’t high enough.
‘It’s a bit of a wake-up call for the broader community as well that we do have Covid in our community now and we really need to see those testing numbers higher,’ Ms Sanderson said.
The overdue admission that Omicron can’t be eliminated was just three days after Premier Mark McGowan axed his vow to reopen WA to the rest of the country on February 5 – with no new date for free travel to resume.
The long-term shutdown was confirmed after just four new mystery infections.
Mr McGowan initially said the state would reopen its border when the vaccination rate hit 90 per cent. WA is now at 89 per cent.
But the state Labor government now insists it won’t rely on vaccination targets any more.
Mr McGowan initially said the state would reopen its border when the vaccination rate hits 90 per cent. Pictured: A health worker testing people for Covid-19 in Perth
Instead, the take-up of booster shots will determine when the state finally throws its doors open, with 70 per cent triple-vaxxed the new target.
But this could take several months with only 27 per cent of the state’s residents having received a booster.
Mr McGowan said he understands the decision will disappoint many people hoping to return home to visit family.
But he insisted the controversial call was in the best interests of WA given the soaring numbers of Covid cases in eastern states.
However, if WA’s own Omicron outbreak takes off like those in other states, there may be no point in keeping the border closed.