NSW Deploys 89 Special Ambulances For Potential COVID-19 Spike
The NSW Government is introducing 89 new ambulance vehicles across the state which will be specially equipped to deal with potential coronavirus cases.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian made the announcement on Friday morning, alongside NSW Ambulance Chief Executive Dr Dominic Morgan.
Berejiklian said introducing the new vehicles will help ensure the "health system is prepared in case we do have an unexpected increase [or] a massive increase in the number of people who do need to go to hospital".
"When you are on the front line like our paramedics, our health workers, you have to assume anybody with symptoms who comes through those doors could potentially have the virus and that puts additional pressure on the system," she said.
The manufacturing of the 89 extra ambulances is underway and Berejiklian expects to have them on road within weeks -- in both regional and metropolitan communities.
Dr Morgan said the new fleet will go a long way to helping the state meet the demands of the community during these extraordinary times.
“We are one of the largest ambulance services in the world and this boost to our workforce gives us new strength and support to our very valuable frontline workforce,” he said.
The allocation of new ambulances is currently being finalised, with priority being given to areas experiencing a higher demand for services.
The new fleet is part of a $17 million funding boost from the NSW Government which will also help deliver additional medical supplies including upgraded life-saving defibrillators.
Meanwhile, the Premier confessed coronavirus "will be part of our lives" until a vaccine is developed but we can do things to help control the spread and reduce the strain on our health department.
She said the focus in NSW is also to get people back to work.
"It broke my heart yesterday to think about the 221,000 people in our state who lost their jobs in April. That's 221,000 individuals or families have to worry about the mortgage, or rent, or kids' school fees and we don't want to see more of that," she said.
More than 12,000 people were tested for coronavirus in NSW yesterday, with only eight of those individuals returning a positive result.
Restrictions will begin to ease in NSW today. Restaurants and pubs are open, but for 10 patrons at a time only. Residents can now have five people at their homes and gather outside in groups of up to 10 -- for sport and recreation.