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Another day of no new virus cases in WA

No new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Western Australia for the second time in three days and eight more patients have recovered.

The state’s total number of recovered cases is now 451 and just 88 cases remain active.

“That is an exceptional result,” Premier Mark McGowan told reporters on Wednesday.

“A zero result again is just a great piece of news for the state.”

Health Minister Roger Cook said only four cases remained active in the Kimberley region, where its large indigenous population is considered particularly vulnerable to the virus due to high rates of other health problems including diabetes.

There are 25 patients in hospital, with five in intensive care.

Mr Cook again urged people waiting for elective surgery not to swamp hospital switchboards to ask when theirs would happen, warning it may cause delays.

The national cabinet decided on Tuesday to gradually resume elective surgeries from April 27 after Australia secured more personal protective equipment and significantly slowed down the rate of new coronavirus cases.

Mr Cook said elective surgery rates at public and private hospitals would resume at about one-quarter of their usual rate, with an additional 332 patients having their procedures per week.

“So by the end of May, almost 1700 patients will have their surgery or procedure completed,” he said.

With a significant backlog, Mr Cook said “this will be treading water at best”.

Limited notice will be provided for the surgeries and hospitals will book up to two weeks in advance.

Category two patients will be prioritised, particularly cases that were previously cancelled.

Mr Cook said elective surgeries would be suspended again if rates of infection picked up again.

Effective use of PPE was vital, he said.

“Overuse of PPE in the coming weeks may potentially curtail future elective surgery.”

Originally published as Another day of no new virus cases in WA

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