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National medical stockpiles to be accessed in weeks

The Director General of WA Health says WA has enough COVID-19 testing kits to last for 19 days at the current rate. Dr David Russell-Weisz says they are looking for other suppliers.

“I have a procurement team working 24-hours around the clock and we’re looking to spot purchased anything that comes up.

“Nationally they are looking at making sure we do not run out of reagent.”

While medical PPE stocks are sufficient at the moment, Dr Russell-Weisz concedes he’ll  soon need to request more from the national stockpile.

“At this stage our business-as-usual [stock] is being supplied and we’d have to call on the Commonwealth stockpile in around about four weeks if our supply is dried up.”

Currently the state’s hospitals are well prepared to deal with a public spread of the coronavirus but the Director has warned of the possibility of delays in surgeries.

“Category one is super urgent – we would not think about reducing that elective surgery.

“Category two is semi-urgent and category three is non-urgent. Clearly those are the ones we would need to either push out, defer and come back to later on.”

The State Government is also launching a medical workforce recruitment drive to boost WA’s preparedness for a public COVID-19 outbreak.

Advertisements will run from tomorrow in newspapers and industry publications calling for nurses and nursing assistants, doctors, medical scientists, and technical assistants with clinical laboratory experience.


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Liam Bartlett