The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has urged people in South Australia to step up measures to reduce COVID-19 community transmission and keep people safe.
It comes following recent case number statistics showing high COVID-19 community transmission across the state. Sadly, more than 12,000 people in Australia have now died from the virus and the number of COVID-19 related deaths, as a proportion of the nation’s total population, is higher than in the United Kingdom, United States, France, and Canada.
RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price said that the pandemic was far from over.
“We all have a vital role to play in limiting transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses including the flu and keeping those in our community more at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 safe,” she said.
“Many people, particularly those who are vaccinated and boosted, will only experience relatively minor effects if they contract COVID-19. However, for others, including older people, the immunocompromised and those with serious underlying health conditions, contracting this virus is far more likely to lead to severe effects including hospitalisation. The high rate of COVID-19 transmission nation-wide, including South Australia, is placing tremendous strain on our health system, including our over-stretched hospitals.
“So, now is not the time for complacency. I know it’s frustrating and that many people, particularly in places like my home city of Melbourne, are feeling ‘battle weary’ after living through lockdowns and social restrictions for many months on end. No one is suggesting that lockdowns are on the cards; however, we can and should embrace practical steps that we’ve all learnt over the last two years to limit the spread of COVID-19. Let’s all work together to bring down COVID-19 case numbers.”
RACGP South Australia Chair Dr Danny Byrne said that everyone had a role to play.
“I’m calling for people everywhere in South Australia to play their part and to do what they can to limit community transmission,” he said.
“There may not always be laws in place mandating certain behaviours, but that doesn’t mean we should take our foot off the peddle. We need to be community-minded and look after one another, including those more vulnerable to severe effects from COVID-19.
“Please get vaccinated and boosted and wear a mask indoors and where social distancing is difficult, such as at a sports games. Have a conversation with your employer to see if working from home is an option while we get through this current surge in case numbers. Also, consider catching up with family and friends outside or try to ensure indoor gatherings happen in well-ventilated spaces rather than crowded rooms. If you’re feeling sick with symptoms such as a cough or fever, get tested and if your test is positive it’s vital that you isolate at home.
“This virus is not just going to go away, and we all have a responsibility to limit the spread of COVID-19. So, please do the right thing and take those small but important steps to help limit transmission and encourage people in your life to do the same.”