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- This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Thousands of retired nurses, doctors, psychologists urged to re-join workforce
Tens of thousands of retired doctors, nurses, psychologists and dentists have been asked to bolster NSW’s pandemic frontline as surging hospitalisations stretch health systems and staff shortages hit critical workforces.
Australia’s medical watchdog on Wednesday doubled the number of practitioners on its pandemic sub-registers to more than 55,000 health professionals who have retired or stopped work but are now eligible to return to practice.
NSW is also calling for help from interstate doctors and nurses as the system braces for a spike in COVID-19 hospitalisations and ICU admissions in October, with hospitals expected to be “technically overwhelmed”.
This comes as a second major COVID-19 outbreak is unfolding at Sydney’s Liverpool Hospital, with 24 patients testing positive in the past week.
More on the situation in NSW’s hospitals here.
Jabs made mandatory for Victorian schools and childcare
Victoria’s education unions have almost universally backed a state government move to mandate coronavirus vaccines for teachers and childcare workers, but an organisation representing Christian schools has warned the sector faces “significant challenges” with the order.
As an ugly dispute over a decision to mandate jabs in the construction sector triggered protests for a third day, state Education Minister James Merlino announced vaccinations would be compulsory for all staff at schools and early childhood centres.
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino addresses the media on Wednesday.Credit:Scott McNaughton
“Anyone who works on site at schools or early childhood settings, they will not be able to work on site if they are not vaccinated,” Mr Merlino said at yesterday’s coronavirus update.
He said staff must have their first dose by October 18 or have a booking within a week of that date.
Read the full story here.
This morning’s headlines at a glance
Good morning and thanks for following our live coverage.
It’s Thursday, September 23. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll bring you some of the biggest stories for the first half of the day.
Here’s everything you need to know before we get started.
- Anti-mandatory vaccine and lockdown protesters have vowed to return to Melbourne’s streets this morning, despite police arresting hundreds of demonstrators yesterday. It comes as Victorians are told to expect aftershocks after yesterday’s magnitude 5.9 earthquake that was felt across swaths of Australia’s east coast (the largest earthquake ever recorded on land in Victoria). No injuries have been reported so far, but there have been hundreds of requests for assistance related to structural damage and lost power. Yesterday, Victoria recorded 623 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and three deaths. Coronavirus vaccines will now be mandatory for teachers and childcare workers and residents of Ballarat are now out of lockdown.
- Thousands of retired health workers have been asked to bolster NSW’s pandemic frontline. It comes as new research shows almost two-thirds of people in the state support the Berejiklian government’s plan to reopen when the 70 per cent double dose vaccination target is met. Yesterday, NSW recorded 1035 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths. Residents of the Albury, Lismore, Gilgandra and Brewarrina local government areas are waking up to their first day out of a snap lockdown.
- Queensland recorded one new local case of COVID-19 yesterday. But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new case was linked to an existing cluster and was detected in home quarantine, so is not of concern. Both Qld and Western Australia have opened eligibility to the Pfizer vaccine to people aged 60 and over.
- The ACT recorded 17 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. The majority of new cases were infectious in the community. Twelve people are in hospital and two people are on ventilators in intensive care.
- And in overseas news, it appears US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emanuel Macron have eased tensions somewhat after Australia cancelled its $90 billion European submarine deal in favour of a new contract with the United States. The French ambassador, who was previously recalled from Washington, will now return to the US capital.
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