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Death figures mean government must double intensive care beds

Media Release
Adam Bandt 17 Mar 2020

Greens leader Adam Bandt MP and health spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale have called on the Morrison government and national cabinet to explain what actions are being taken to double the number of intensive care units and to secure adequate number of ventilators.

Medical experts have warned that the number of intensive care beds need to at least double if we are to have a chance of managing the corona crisis. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer has flagged that Australia is facing up to 150,000 possible deaths in the worst case scenario.

The Greens also want stronger leadership and greater clarity on the appropriate public health measures.

Comments from Adam Bandt, Leader of the Australian Greens:

“The number of intensive care beds will be the key to how many people die in the crisis. The Morrison government needs to explain what it is doing to double the number of ICUs and what it is doing to secure adequate numbers of ventilators.”

“We also need clarity on social distancing, including in workplaces, schools, restaurants and other sectors.

Comments from Richard di Natale, Australian Greens Health Spokesperson:

“Australia is facing an unprecedented public health threat with the outbreak of COVID-19.”

“As a doctor I know how important our intensive care resources, particularly ventilation, are going to be to provide the necessary care to those most critically in need and to minimise the number of deaths. This should be a top priority for the national cabinet and the Morrison government.”

The Greens are also calling for the government to put in place a minimum of 2 weeks sick leave for the 3.6 million casuals and other workers without leave entitlements; and a permanent increase to Newstart and other payments to support people on low incomes.

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