New South Wales Minister for Health Brad Hazzard has spent the last few weeks talking up a rise in Covid hospitalisations during the spread of the Omicron variant.
It has now been revealed that ‘up to half’ of all Covid hospitalisations in the state are for patients admitted to hospital for unrelated causes and just happened to test positive while being treated.
Despite Covid not being the cause of their hospitalisation, hundreds of people were included in the statistics quoted by the Health Minister.
“A reasonable portion of cases being classified as Covid hospitalisations are actually people with other reasons for admission,” said Brad Hazzard. “Heart attacks, births, falls, none of that stops just because there is Covid. They come into hospital, they have a swab taken and it confirms Covid.”
The routine Covid checks included people being treated for labour pains, mental health issues, and broken bones. New South Wales is now waiting to find out how many of the 1,204 people in hospital with Covid are actually there because of the virus.
“This shows us it’s [Covid] out in the community, but we aren’t necessarily seeing that as a primary reason for all of the admissions.”
It must be remembered that hospitalisations often rise by around 9% during the holiday period, with the state usually observing an increase in accidental injury.
Brad Hazzard is now being asked to clarify how many people are admitted to hospital purely due to Covid symptoms. It remains to be seen whether NSW Health will amend their daily figures.