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Coronavirus: Australia will deploy soldiers in nursing homes due to the increase in infections

The Australian Government announced on Monday that will deploy up to 1,700 soldiers in nursing homes throughout the country, with the aim of alleviating the crisis created by the increase in infections of coronavirus, which has killed more than 500 elderly people, caused casualties among caregivers and forced the closure of many homes.

military equipment will be divided into clinicalwhich will be led by a registered nurse, and general supportto perform tasks such as cleaning, as well as logistics and planning in the elderly care sector.

“In each state or territory, teams of at least 50 people will begin to be sent up to a maximum of 200,” explained the prime minister, Scott Morrisonat a press conference in Canberra, at the end of a Cabinet meeting.

Morrison said at least 50 people will be sent to each state or territory. Photo: EFE/EPA/LUKAS COCH

The resolution was taken after various politicians and civil organizations denounced that many elderly people have been isolated for months since the start of the pandemic and suffer from the lack of hygiene care and food, in the face of the growing number of positive cases of covid-19 among residents and their carers.

The emergence of the omicron variant at the end of the year has hit nursing homes hard, where more than 25 percent of the almost 2,000 deaths from the virus in the last six weeks were recorded.

According to official data from last week, some 20,000 elderly have been infected with covid-19as well as 15,000 workers in these centers.

During June and September 2020, in its second wave of the virus, Australia recorded 75 per cent of the 820 Covid-19 deaths among nursing home residents.

The oceanic country, which has accumulated 2.4 million infections since the start of the pandemic, including more than 300,000 active cases and some 4,250 deaths, exceeds 93% of vaccination with the complete schedule among its target population and has already administered to 42% the booster dose.

However, last week the Australian press revealed that some 61,000 of the 190,000 nursing home residents in the country have not received a booster dose against covid-19.

Australia reopens borders

After almost two years of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the oceanic country will reopen its international borders to tourists and all visa holders who have received at least two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, starting on February 21st.

“The condition is that you have to have two doses of the vaccine to come to Australia. This is the rule and everyone is expected to obey it,” Morrison said.

Morrison also spoke about the reopening of borders in Australia.  Photo: EFE/EPA/MICK TSIKAS AUSTRALIA

Morrison also spoke about the reopening of borders in Australia. Photo: EFE/EPA/MICK TSIKAS AUSTRALIA

Australia, which closed its borders in March 2020, had begun to gradually open them last November to residents and citizens, and then to temporary workers and foreign students, as well as travelers from New Zealand, Singapore, Japan or South Korea, but the irruption of the Ómicron variant at the end of the year slowed down these plans.

With information from EFE.

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