Australia reported nearly 21,000 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday as reproductive rates of the virus plateau around the country.
Sunday also saw far fewer deaths, with 24 reported, compared to 70 on Saturday.
Saturday’s death toll was the highest tally in more than a fortnight but also included unreported fatalities in South Australia from earlier in the year.
There are roughly 220,000 active virus cases across the country.
The effective reproductive rate of the virus sits at about one in every state and territory, meaning one infected person is infecting at least one other person.
Meanwhile, Australian doctors in training say they hold grave concerns for the future of the healthcare sector as senior professionals grapple with burnout brought on in part by COVID-19 and influenza.
The Australian Medical Students’ Association is calling on governments to urgently address pressures on the workforce and commit to long-term planning by funding the National Medical Workforce Strategy.
“Disastrous” staff shortages, extreme burnout and intensified clinical demand are among the factors straining the sector, association president Jasmine Davis says.
The peak body is concerned the crisis will have ramifications for patient safety.
“We know that a burnt out, under-staffed medical workforce cannot adequately teach the next generation of doctors, despite their desire to do so,” Ms Davis said.
“As a result, medical students have faced significant disruptions to their medical education throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – now in its third year – with cancelled placements, restricted access to patients and online classes.”
Nearly nine in 10 doctors are experiencing burnout, according to a recent survey by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA:
NSW: 5387 cases, five deaths, 1255 in hospital with 45 in ICU
Queensland: 2383 cases, one death, 329 in hospital, seven in ICU
ACT: 643 cases, no deaths, 80 in hospital, two in ICU
WA: 4900 cases, two deaths, 261 in hospital with seven in ICU
Victoria: 4766 cases, 16 deaths, 454 in hospital with 27 in ICU
NT: 163 cases, no deaths, 18 in hospital with no one in ICU
Tasmania: 489 cases, no deaths, 39 in hospital with three in ICU
South Australia: 2134 cases, no deaths, 246 in hospital with five in ICU