The Australian government has deployed military personnel to aged care homes to ease a staff shortage crisis as a result of surging Covid-19 infections.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced up to 1,700 Australian Defense Force (ADF) personnel will be sent in to support the aged care workforce, reports Xinhua news ageny.
The ADF personnel will assist across facilities including logistics and general duties tasks, such as screening of entrants to facilities, providing companionship to residents, supporting with meals and other non-direct care functions to take the pressure off qualified aged care workers and medical staff.
The aged care industry has come under pressure in 2022 due to widespread outbreaks of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in facilities.
There have been reports of residents being isolated for months and going without proper care due to staff shortfalls.
Till date there are 11,980 COVID-19 positive residents (5,439) and staff (6,541) in 1,176 active outbreaks in residential aged care facilities across Australia, according to the Department of Health.
On Tuesday morning, Australia reported more than 20,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 50 deaths — 20 in Victoria, 18 in New South Wales and 12 in Queensland.
There were 3,916 cases being treated in hospitals on Monday, including 274 in intensive care.