An urgent asthma alert is issued in Victoria as state prepares for severe thunderstorm – with hospitals already grappling with 750 Covid cases
- First thunderstorm asthma alert has been issued in Victoria for the season
- Authorities are already dealing with 750 Covid patients hospitalized
- Wimmera and Mallee counties in the state’s southwest are at high risk on Thursday
Victorian health authorities have issued the first thunderstorm asthma warning for the season, with authorities warning that hospitals are already dealing with Covid-19 patients.
The Wimmera and Mallee districts in the southwest of the state are a risk area on Thursday.
“The combination of predicted high grass pollen levels and severe thunderstorms with strong winds means there is a chance that a large number of people will develop asthma symptoms in a short period of time,” the warning reads.
“Our hospitals are experiencing significant demand due to Covid-19, so it’s important you stay well.”
Victorian health authorities have issued first thunderstorm warning for the season, with authorities warning hospitals are already dealing with Covid-19 patients
Those at risk are advised not to be outside during storms and the winds that precede them, and remember to take preventative medication.
A thunderstorm asthma event in 2016 killed nine people and saw thousands more hospitalized.
The warning comes as health authorities urge half a million people to get vaccinated the day before statewide restrictions are eased again.
The warning comes as health authorities urge half a million people to get vaccinated the day before statewide restrictions are eased again
From 6 p.m. Friday, people in metropolitan Melbourne will be allowed to travel to the regions and interstate, masks will not be required outdoors and non-essential shops can be opened.
But about 500,000 Victorians have yet to receive their first vaccine dose, and only 83 percent of 20-somethings get their first shot.
The state recorded another 1,534 locally-acquired virus cases and a further 13 deaths on Wednesday, with about 85 percent of Victoria’s new cases among people who have not been fully vaccinated.
About 750 people are currently hospitalized with coronavirus, 138 of whom are in intensive care, 87 of whom are on a ventilator.
The latest deaths bring the toll of the current outbreak to 247.