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‘We are looking at many thousands of lives lost’: Victoria calls in retired healthcare staff

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

More than 100 retired Victorian nurses will step back into the workforce to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, as former healthcare staff are urged to lend a helping hand in the state’s hospitals.

More than 100 retired Victorian nurses will step back into the workforce to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, as former healthcare staff are urged to lend a helping hand in the state's hospitals.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos today said former nurses were undertaking refresher courses in order to then be placed across the state's health centres and hospitals.

The announcement comes as 64 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Victoria, bringing the state's total to 411.

The new cases include 36 men and 27 women - one being further investigated - with people aged from pre-school age to their late eighties.

"We encourage any other healthcare worker who has retired or has not been practising for some time to assist us in this challenging time, they can contact their union as the first contact, who will then contact us," Ms Mikakos said.

"We are looking at many thousands of lives lost."

The Victorian Ambulance Union has also put a call out to retired paramedics to get back into ambulance vehicles to help with emergencies.

Currently 12 people are in hospital, including two patients in intensive care.

Of the total 411 cases, there have been 350 in metropolitan Melbourne and 41 in regional Victoria.

A number of cases remain under investigation.

There are six confirmed cases which may have been acquired through community transmission.

Despite other states opting to shut their borders, Ms Mikakos said there were no current plans to close Victoria's borders.

Most borders between states in Australia will be shut in coming days.

The decision was understood to be in part based on access to healthcare services for residents in the region of Albury-Wodonga, which shares a Victorian and New South Wales border.

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Victoria's Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the threat of coronavirus to public health was real and everyone must take social distancing seriously.

"Social distancing will save lives," he said.

"Everyone needs to comply with restrictions in place to keep yourself, your loved ones and the whole community safe."

"We urge everyone to stay 1.5 metres away from everyone else, wash your hands often with soap and water and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-retired-victorian-nurses-and-healthcare-workers-to-rejoin-workforce/479dd67a-d197-40a6-8009-1c264cdcf924

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