Chief health officer reveals complex truth behind NSW Covid hospitalisation numbers
NSW’s top doctor says it’s difficult to know how many Covid-positive people in NSW hospitals are actually there because of virus complications.
Not all of the more than 2800 Covid-19 patients currently in NSW hospitals were admitted because of their infections.
The state’s chief health officer Kerry Chant told NCA NewsWire in an exclusive interview that while some infected patients are there for other reasons, the fact that they have Covid-19 risks complicating their recovery.
“Even the clinicians struggle – for example, if someone has a heart attack, did Covid precipitate it or put a stress on the system?” Dr Chant said.
“It’s actually quite complicated.”
The latest hospitalisation figures from Thursday evening show there were 2534 Covid-19 patients in NSW hospital beds.
That’s in addition to 5468 hospitalised patients who don’t have Covid-19.
There were an additional 209 Covid-19 positive patients in intensive care units, where 290 people without Covid-19 were also being treated.
In general, Covid-19 patients who end up in hospitals tend to be either older or living with underlying health conditions.
Dr Chant cautioned that even if the disease wasn’t the reason a patient was sent to hospital, being infected risks making recovery more difficult.
“If someone has a motor vehicle accident, fundamentally you don’t know if Covid then complicates their remission,” she said.
“They might have come in there because of a motor vehicle accident, but then does the fact they concurrently have Covid make them deteriorate?
“These are the complexities, and we’re not trying to undersell it or oversell it.”
Premier Dominic Perrottet said hospitalisations and ICU numbers were better than officials could have hoped for.
“We were expecting more than 3000 people in our hospitals with Covid and in a worst-case scenario, 6000 people with Covid, so the figure today … provides some reassurance in terms of the situation here in NSW,” he told reporters.
Friday marked a record day for Covid-related deaths in the state, with 46 people aged between their 30s and 90s dying.
Originally published as Chief health officer reveals complex truth behind NSW Covid hospitalisation numbers
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails