‘Aussie hospitalisations rebound amid easing Covid restrictions’

The number of people who were hospitalised in Australia rebounded in 2020-21 amid easing Covid-19 restrictions, data has revealed.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on Wednesday published hospitalisation data for the financial year 2020-21.

It revealed that following a dip of 2.8 per cent in 2019-20, the number of hospital admissions in Australia increased by 6.3 per cent to 11.8 million, Xinhua news agency reported.

Of those, 7.4 million were discharged on the same day they were admitted and 4.4 million spent at least one night in hospital – increases of 8.1 and 3.3 per cent, respectively.

AIHW spokesperson Adrian Webster said the increase could largely be attributed to coronavirus restrictions easing across most of Australia in the second half of 2020 and early 2021.

“The significant increase in hospitalizations at the national level can be largely attributed to the easing of restrictions following the first waves of the pandemic in most states and territories, particularly restrictions on elective surgery,” he said in a statement.

“The increase also reflects efforts to clear the backlog of surgeries that had been created the previous year.”

In the state of Victoria, where a strict Covid lockdown was instituted in 2020 between July and October, hospitalisations increased by only 1.3 per cent.

There were 4,700 Australians hospitalised with Covid-19 in 2020-21, 42 per cent of whom had a comorbid chronic condition such as cardiovascular disease.

“Of the 4,700 hospitalised patients with a Covid-19 diagnosis, 329 involved a stay in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 180 required ventilation, and 487 died in hospital,” Webster said.

“Two-thirds of these hospitalisations were for people aged 45 or older and 4.4 per cent were for children aged 0-14.”




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