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COVID-19 infection inside aged care facilities is inevitable: PM

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Scott Morrison has said that it is inevitable aged care facilities will see COVID-19 infections due to the high amount of community transmission in Victoria.

Scott Morrison has said that it is inevitable aged care facilities will see COVID-19 infections due to the high amount of community transmission in Victoria.

"When it rains, everyone gets wet," Mr Morrison said.

"The challenges of dealing with aged care are not unique to Australia. Indeed in every country in the world where there is sustained community transmission, it is inevitable that this will find its way into aged care facilities."

Scott Morrison addressed COVID-19.

The Prime Minister doubled down on warnings to aged care workers that any illness they feel could result in enormous harm to the residents they care for.

"The principal cause for transmission into aged care facilities has been through workforce transmission," the PM said.

"It is principally come through the infection of staff, more broadly in the community, many cases completely unaware of that infection and by the time they became aware of that infection, then obviously they'd been in those facilities."

Mr Morrison said more than 750 healthcare workers in Victoria have been infected with COVID-19.

Scott Morrison addresses the issue of COVID-19 in aged care facilities.

"As the Premier rightly said, if you are ill, do not go to work," he said.

"That is true if you work in a meat processing plant, it is true if you work in a chemist shop, it is true if you work in a restaurant, it is true if you're a journalist, a politician, whoever you may be."

Aged care cannot be completely protected from the virus, Secretary of the Department of Health Brendan Murphy said.

"One of the things we have all learned about this virus in the last six months is this terrible combination of a virus that can spread so easily in a fit young people, sometimes without any symptoms, and yet when it gets into our frail elderly people, it wreaks havoc," Professor Murphy said.

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"And it has a very significant death rate, fortunately some do recover but it is a very, very nasty virus with the elderly."

Crack teams of up to seven medical professionals will be sent to aged care facilities in Victoria, and will operate as "first responders" who will provide medical leadership and stabilise the infection rate within facilities.

Additionally, aged care nursing staff have been trained in infection response.

"Some 150,000 aged care workers have been trained with those training modules that have been provided through the earlier response provided by the Commonwealth," Mr Morrison said.

NSW outbreak contained: PM

Mr Morrison commended a number of states and territories for keeping case numbers low.

"For many states and territories, we welcome the fact that they're entering zeros into those datasets and long may that be the case, but when those numbers move, it's important that we are able to identify those as early as possible," said Mr Morrison.

"It is also pleasing to see that the outbreak in New South Wales has been contained."

Nineteen new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in NSW today, including two in hotel quarantine.

READ MORE: How washing your hands with soap destroys 'fragile' coronavirus

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348

For coronavirus breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/scott-morrison-aged-care-crisis-victorian-coronavirus-outbreak-pandemic/84fe0ac0-2440-4969-b409-336b3d521be1

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