Five test positive to virus

Five test positive to virus

The coronavirus testing clinic opened at Armadale Health Service on March 23, one of four to open in metropolitan centres across Perth. Photograph — Richard Polden.

Armadale Health Service is now officially one of the six hospitals across the Perth metropolitan area to be administering treatment for seriously ill coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

On Tuesday, WA health minister Roger Cook confirmed there were 54 patients being treated at hospitals across WA, including Armadale, 14 of which were in Intensive Care.

A Department of Health spokesperson told Examiner Newspapers the Armadale Health Service’s coronavirus clinic had tested more than 600 people for the respiratory virus since it opened less than a fortnight ago, five of whom had returned a positive test result.

The news comes as the number of positive cases in WA surged beyond 390, with the vast majority understood to be related to overseas travel.

The state government has this week provided a $15 million boost to the state’s public health system in a bid to add further hospital capacity and fight the crisis.

It is understood the East Metropolitan Health Service has increased capacity by almost 200 beds, reconfiguring wards and transferring maternity services from Bentley to Armadale Health Service and King Edward Memorial Hospital.

Mr Cook said he was extremely pleased to see the number of positive cases decreasing daily, but stressed that the community needed to remain vigilant.

“These numbers are extremely encouraging,” he said.

“To have single digits at any point in time in terms of the pandemic is amazing, but to have them at this point in the cycle of the pandemic is particularly encouraging.

“We’re not out of the woods.

“We’re sailing into this storm, not out of it.

“We need to continue to be vigilant.

“We cannot afford to be complacent.

“I would emphasise to everyone that we need to continue to practice good physical distancing, good personal hygiene and listen to all of the guidance from government to ensure that we can flatten the curve and push this pandemic out as soon as possible.

“We know that the best way we can deal with this is to test, trace and isolate and the Department of Health has done a fantastic job in making sure that we’re able to expand our testing regime to ensure that we have good line of sight in terms of the virus’ progress.”