Elective surgery has been cancelled at the hospital at the centre COVID-19 clusters, while another hospital has warned patients their cases may be impacted.
Elective surgery has been cancelled at the hospital at the centre COVID-19 clusters, while another hospital has warned patients their cases may be impacted.

Elective surgery canned or delayed at major hospitals

Elective surgery has been cancelled at the Princess Alexandra Hospital except for critical cases as the facility deals with two COVID-19 virus clusters.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said elective surgery at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital had also been affected by Queensland's latest coronavirus crisis.

"PA is not taking in cases to do elective surgery, except critical ones," Dr Young said.

"Some other hospitals have had to reduce some of their elective surgery for less critical cases to take the increased load from the PA."

More than 1000 people have been placed in quarantine as a result of the two separate Princess Alexandra Hospital outbreaks this month - one involving a junior doctor, the other affecting two of the facility's infectious disease ward nurses.

Although both clusters involve the highly contagious UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Dr Young said genomic sequencing had shown they were two separate outbreaks.

The nurse cluster, which has been traced back to a PAH patient with COVID-19 who had travelled to Queensland from India, grew to 11 cases today, including another nurse and her house mate.

The second nurse had already received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 19, but Dr Young said she had not developed full immunity before becoming infected with the virus.

"It usually takes a week after your first dose before you get significant degree of immunity," she said.

Dr Young said investigations were ongoing into how both nurses became infected.

Both worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital's infectious diseases ward, 5D, which has been closed as a result of the outbreaks.

"No-one is going in or out of that ward," Dr Young said. "Everyone who was in there has been moved out and there's been a very thorough clean being done of that ward."

The two PAH COVID clusters have triggered a three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane, which is due to end on Thursday at 5pm.

Originally published as Elective surgery canned, delayed at major hospitals


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