Three children with COVID-19 are in intensive care, a Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (SCHN) spokeswoman has confirmed.
The children have underlying health conditions but the spokeswoman said they were being cared for due to COVID.
“SCHN is currently supporting more than 2,000 children with COVID-19, including the three children who are currently receiving intensive care, through the delivery of a range of dedicated services,” she said.
The spokeswoman said children with the virus whose parents or carers had been hospitalised had access to SCHN’s ‘Home in Hospital’ service.
Those who were well enough to be treated at home were being looked after by their 24/7 VirtualKids service, she said.
The announcement comes as NSW broke its own COVID-19 records for a second consecutive day after 1,533 new infections, and four deaths, were identified in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.
While most of them were in Sydney’s west and south-west, there is increasing concern about the deteriorating situation in the state’s regional areas, where the virus is continuing to spread.
In the tiny town of Wilcannia, which has a high Indigenous population and is about 950km west of Sydney, almost 100 people have tested positive over the course of NSW’s Delta outbreak.
Nine new infections yesterday brought the total number of cases in Wilcannia to 97 — that means roughly 13 per cent of people in the town have the virus.
In other regional areas:
There were 38 new infections in the Western NSW Local Health District (LHD), including 22 in Dubbo and nine in Bourke
In the Hunter New England LHD there were 15 new cases, 10 of which were in the Port Stephens local government area
In the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD there were 17 new cases, 12 of which were in Wollongong
There were 15 new cases in the Central Coast LHD
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said yesterday was the second busiest day in the state’s history for the NSW Ambulance service — highlighting the pressure placed by the pandemic on the state’s health system.
“I would just say to everybody, if you are sick, of course, and you need emergency assistance, then of course you should dial 000,” he said.
“But we had the Commissioner for Ambulance here last week or the week before and he was highlighting cases where people were using ambulances to get Band-Aids and other things.”
He urged residents to save calls for an ambulance for emergency situations.
Mr Hazzard said he supported a plan to bring in other emergency staff to help drive ambulances.
It is a plan being considered by Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan, due to the likely increase in patient numbers, he said.
None of the four people who died had been vaccinated.
One woman aged in her 80s from south-west Sydney died at Fairfield Hospital, while a man in his 50s from Western Sydney died at Westmead Hospital.
A man in his 70s from south-west Sydney died at Liverpool Hospital.
A man in his 60s from Western Sydney died at home.
“I want to express my condolences to each of those people’s families, friends, the passing of a family member or friend is always extremely sad and I really want to express the strong wishes to each of the community members who knew those people and just to say we’re thinking of you,” Mr Hazzard said.
Lifeline Chair John Brogden said his organisation was fielding 1,000 calls a day from people in NSW.
“Two years ago that was 28 per cent less, around 700 and something calls, so we are now seeing a very significant load of calls coming to us,” he said.
But he said the silver lining was that people were reaching out for help when they needed it.
There are 1,041 COVID-19 cases in hospital, with 173 people in intensive care, 62 of whom require ventilation.
Of the 173 people in ICU, 137 are unvaccinated.
Twenty-nine have received one jab and seven are fully inoculated.
There were almost 130,000 COVID-19 vaccines administered in NSW yesterday.
A “super Sunday” vaccination blitz tomorrow will make jabs available for police, fire and emergency services personnel who live in Sydney’s 12 LGAs of concern, the Health Minister said.
“I want to stress also that healthcare, hospital aged care workers from these 12 LGA is of concern can also book in, so I stress, healthcare, hospital and aged care workers can book into that super Sunday tomorrow,” Mr Hazzard said.