Canberra: The number of Australians hospitalised due to Covid-19 has reached the highest number since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
According to data from the Department of Health, there were 5,433 Covid-19 patients currently hospitalised, up from 5,001 a week earlier, reports Xinhua news agency.
The new figure beat the previous record of 5,390 in January.
It comes as Australia’s winter wave of Covid-19 infections is expected to peak in the coming weeks, increasing pressure on the hospital system.
Chris Moy, vice president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), described the figure as “massive”, calling for more government leadership on health measures including mask mandates.
“The average public hospital has 600 to 700 beds, so we are talking eight major public hospitals,” he was quoted as saying by the Guardian Australia on Tuesday.
“The bottom line is on the ground, my colleagues are angry, desperate, fatigued and they have a terrible situation where there are not enough beds or nurses.”
Australia on Tuesday reported more than 40,000 new Covid-19 cases and over 90 deaths.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the country had reported a total of 9,139,047 cases and 11,200 deaths.