Second wave has pharmacists concerned


face mask covid coronavirus ppe
Closeup of young woman doctor with gloves puts on medical mask.

Australian pharmacists are worried about a second wave of COVID-19 infection, as case numbers begin to creep upwards

Earlier this month, the AJP asked readers whether they thought a potential second wave could be on its way – and the results indicate that you have some concerns.

Readers were asked to tick as many answers as they considered relevant, so the numbers add up to more than 100%.

At the time of writing on Monday, a full 50% of readers (n=372) told us that they think a second wave will happen, while 19% (n=143) said they did not believe it would.

And pharmacists appear to be worried about the way we’re taking measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Monday, 49% of readers (n=366) said that they were worried about people beginning to relax their social distancing and other preventive measures; 42% said they were worried about a second wave and would continue social distancing.

A further 19% said they had concerns, but opening up the economy was more important; 4% said they were worried and could not access adequate protective gear, while 11% said they were concerned and would continue to use it.

The results come as the Victorian Government announced that it would extend the state of emergency for another four weeks to continue measures designed to slow the spread of the disease.

“The State of Emergency will be extended until 11.59pm on 19 July 2020, which allows the Victorian Government to continue to enforce physical distancing and isolation requirements, as well as other directions from the Chief Health Officer,” the state Government said.

“The substantial increase in the number of household contacts spreading the virus amongst extended family groups shows the battle against coronavirus is far from over. As we’ve seen across the world, this virus can turn a few cases into hundreds in a matter of days.

“Our message is clear: stay safe. If you do need to see people keep your distance. No handshakes and no hugs. Maintain good hygiene. Don’t share food or drinks. Avoid crowds. And if you’re unwell – stay home.

“In order to continue to limit the number of people moving around the state and to help protect those who must travel to work, people are being asked to continue to work from home if they can. The work from home rule will stay in place at least until the end of July.”

Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Premier Daniel Andrews expressed disappointment that people were not adequately social distancing with extended family and friends, and instead attending large social gatherings.

“Since April … half of all of our new cases have come from family-to-family transmission,” Mr Andrews said in comments published by the ABC.

“I’m frustrated by it. I’m disappointed by it. Unless we can break this cycle … then we are going to see more and more of these cases.

“We have even had people who had tested positive and have been told to go home and isolate and instead they have gone to work, instead they have gone and visited loved ones in large numbers.”

In NSW there were two new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed between 8pm on 20 June and 8pm on 21 June, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 3,151.

One of the new cases is a returned traveller in hotel quarantine, while the other is from South Western Sydney, and investigations are underway to find the source of the infection.

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