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One million extra PPE being delivered to South Australia to better protect health workers combating COVID-19

By Journalist Grady Hudd, The Advertiser

South Australia’s frontline health staff will be bolstered by an extra one million pieces of personal protective equipment ahead of essential elective surgery recommencing this week.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the arrival of the additional resources, known as PPE, will better help safeguard workers from exposure to coronavirus.

“In the face of worldwide shortages of PPE, securing this PPE for our health networks is a vital step in our strong plan to prepare South Australia for the impacts of COVID-19,” he said.

“Ensuring the safety of our staff as they care for patients is the highest priority.

“The effective and safe use of PPE is vital for clinicians during this global pandemic.

“The gradual recommencement of elective surgery was only possible because Australia has been expanding its stocks of PPE such that we can be confident that we can provide

SA on Monday recorded its fifth consecutive day with no new cases of COVID-19, remaining steady at 438 total cases – 95 per cent of which have recovered.

“Yes, we’ve made five days in a row. Well done South Australians,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr Nicola Spurrier said.

She said SA Health was looking closely at restrictions that were being lifted in other states, with a view to eventually lifting them here.

She noted that activities such as picnics and long-distance travel had just been allowed in Queensland, but were never banned in South Australia.

“It’s worth bearing in mind that SA didn’t regulate to the same degree as many of the other states.”

Dr Spurrier said outdoor activities posed much less of a risk of transmission than indoor activities, so those were being considered first.

“I am, the same as you, very keen to get back to a normal way of life,” she said.

Four patients still remain in the Royal Adelaide Hospital and two people – a 68-year-old man and 75-year-old man, are in intensive care in a critical condition.

Some of the SA services expected to be reinstated this week include lifesaving screening services like Breast Screen SA, emergency dental services, IVF and essential elective surgeries.

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