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Perth hospital reveals new COVID-19 ICU ward as cases surge in Western Australia


A new ICU ward at the Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia will be taking patients infected with COVID-19 from Wednesday, amid warnings case numbers will soon peak.

Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said the $29 million facility would be integral in the state’s COVID-19 response, equipped with the latest technology to prevent the spread of the virus within the hospital.

“The facility been optimised for COVID-19 conditions with the last COVID controls and technologies,” Ms Sanderson said.

“Whilst we are in this most serious period of the pandemic it will only be used for COVID patients.”

The new unit contains 24 separate hospital beds, all enclosed by glass that can change from clear to frosted “with the flick of a switch” to protect patient privacy.

The $29 million facility has been created at Royal Perth Hospital. (Google Maps)

The state today recorded 4037 new cases of COVID-19, with 109 people currently hospitalised with the virus.

One patient is in intensive care.

Ms Sanderson said case numbers were likely to “peak soon”, resulting in a peak in hospitalisations by the end of the month.

“The peak is still yet to come,” she said.

“The opening of this new unit could not come at a better time.”

She added while case numbers had been doubling every few days, the number of patients requiring hospitalisation was relatively low.

“Infections are still high,” Dr Sanderson said.

“This new unit was planned before the pandemic but when it struck we made the decision to provide additional funding so we had it when we needed it most.

“It will be an essential part of our pandemic response.”

Dr Anton Leonard, the hospital’s head of ICU, said while the additional beds and new facilities would provide a boost for health staff and patients, the state still faced severe nursing shortages.

“There’s an international shortage of nurses, we are doing our best in the hospital to train up our own local nurses,” he said.

He added plans were currently in place to recruit more nurses to Western Australia from interstate and overseas.

“In the absence of nurses, we will use other staff like physiologists, speech pathologists, anesthetic technicians to help fill in the gaps,” Dr Leonard said.



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