Two major hospitals are no longer accepting Covid patients as wards overflow with virus-stricken Sydneysiders at the heart of the city’s outbreak.
Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals in the virus-riddled western suburbs hit breaking point on Wednesday night, with not a single bed left to treat those suffering from the respiratory disease.
The two hospitals are both located within western Sydney’s 12 local government areas of concern, where even greater lockdown restrictions are enforced including curfews – but stubborn case numbers refuse to come down.
The shocking development came as New South Wales racked up a grim record of 919 infections on Wednesday, as well as two more deaths.
Westmead (pictured) and Blacktown Hospitals in the western suburbs hit breaking point on Wednesday night and cannot accept a single extra Covid patient
Ambulance drivers with coronavirus patients were instructed not to enter the building and told they would be turned away with resources stretched to the limits (pictured, Blacktown Hospital)
Covid hospitalisations in New South Wales
There are currently 645 Covid-19 cases being treated in NSW hospitals.
113 of those are in intensive care.
40 of those in ICU require a ventilator to breathe.
Source: NSW Health
To assist with massive influx of cases, Wollongong Hospital has been asked to pick up the slack and will begin treating Sydneysiders from the Covid-ravaged west.
From Monday, private hospitals in Greater Sydney will join the public sector in postponing almost all surgeries unless they are considered an ’emergency’ procedure.
The drastic measures were announced to free-up staff and resources in anticipation for spiralling numbers of Covid admissions.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian just 24 hours earlier denied claims Sydney hospitals had hit a breaking point when she addressed reporters at her Tuesday morning Covid update.
‘Regarding the strain on public hospitals, Westmead Hospital, we’ve been told by surgeons, their cardiac surgeons, the list has been halved because beds are set aside for Covid,’ the premier said.
‘They are concerned patients will suffer from heart attacks and potentially die. We need the private sector to get involved like last year to take it over.
‘Anybody who needs medical attention in New South Wales will get attention. We know some hospitals have greater pressure on them than others.’
Overworked and overrun health staff at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital are pictured on August 17, with patients having to be treated in the ambulance carpark
The Premier has denied claims public hospitals have hit a breaking point on Tuesday and said her government anyone who needs medical attention in NSW will receive it
Ms Berejiklian said her government was in a position where it was managing capacity and challenges brought forth by the virus as best it could.
‘Our system is tested in the best of times, least of all in epidemic but all things considered, we are managing the system well and making sure people’s public health needs are met.’
There are currently 645 NSW residents fighting for their lives in hospitals across the state, with 113 of them being treated in overwhelmed Covid intensive care units and 40 of them requiring a ventilator to breathe.
Daily Mail Australia has reached out to NSW Health for comment.
The influx of patients comes as young Australians fighting for their lives in hospital share their harrowing experiences of what it’s like to be struck down by Covid and separated from loved ones, who in many cases have also fallen ill.
Gasping for breath, alone and terrified, the brave patients at Sydney’s Concord Hospital begged Australians to take the virus seriously, declaring ‘it’s not a game’.
Construction worker Fawaz, 50, (pictured) is seen lying face-down barely able to speak in his hospital bed – as he begged Australians to get vaccinated
In a series of emotional bedside interviews, a young single mother, a devastated tradie and a construction worker who infected his entire family, including his six children, pleaded with the nation to get vaccinated.
Construction worker Fawaz, 50, is seen lying face-down barely able to speak in his hospital bed.
‘Today I am really bad: my fever, my headache, my breathing,’ he said.
The dad, from Putney in Sydney’s north, still has no idea how he contracted the virus which has now spread to his entire immediate family – including his six children.
At the time the video was shot one of his daughters had also been rushed to hospital because her condition was rapidly deteriorating.
Young single mum Ramona (pictured at Concord Hospital) said the mental anguish is equally as debilitating as the physical aspects of the gruelling disease
‘She’s getting dizzy, her heart rate is too high and she is finding it hard to breathe,’ he said.
‘So please get vaccinated. I wish I knew beforehand… It’s not a game, it’s for real.’
Fawaz had been booked in to get the Pfizer jab for October, before being struck down before the appointment.
Single mother Ramona, 30, who needs the assistance of breathing tubes, had received her first dose of the vaccine but is thought to have contracted the crippling respiratory virus while working at a pharmacy in Greenacre, in Sydney’s southwest.
She said the community needs to ‘wake and realise this is real’.
‘You end up in hospital and you can’t breathe,’ she said fighting back tears.
Concord Hospital respiratory physician Associate Professor Lucy Morgan (pictured) said many of her Covid patients had stories of misinformation prior to falling ill
‘All I can think about is my children. I haven’t seen them in a very long time.
‘I’m an essential worker. I could have contracted the virus from someone who didn’t want to get the vaccination.’
Ramona added that the mental anguish is equally as debilitating as the physical aspects of the gruelling disease.
‘I’ve had two kids and a major operation but I’ve never had to push myself to recover mentally this much,’ she said.
The video from the Sydney Local Health District at Concord Hospital in Sydney (pictured) comes as NSW reported a record 919 new Covid infections on Wednesday along with two more fatalities
Concord Hospital respiratory physician Associate Professor Lucy Morgan said a growing number of her Covid patients are ‘really young’.
‘They are in their 20s, they are in their 30s, they are in their 40s and many have very small children and many have partners who are also in hospital,’ she said.
‘Many of them had stories of misinformation that they had received prior to falling ill.
‘So if ever there was a reason for you to think about getting vaccinated today, I’d urge you to listen.’
Osama, 35, said he was ‘close to death’ when he first arrived on the ward a week ago.
Sydney tradie Osama, 35 (pictured), said he was ‘close to death’ when he first arrived on the ward a week ago
‘I had shortness of breath and it felt like there was something attacking my lungs. It was harsh,’ the tradesman from Lakemba in Sydney’s southwest said.
‘It was fever, headaches and a combination of things you do not want to experience.’
His young kids are also being treated for Covid at Westmead Children’s Hospital and his wife is clinging to life in the intensive care unit of a separate health facility.
‘It’s separated us, it hasn’t been easy,’ Osama said.
He is now urging all Australians to get vaccinated.
‘Go do it. Don’t risk it. Be safe… You do not want to go through it,’ Osama said.
NSW reported a record 919 new Covid infections on Wednesday along with two more fatalities.
COVID-19: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
What is Covid-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases.
Covid-19 is a disease caused by a form of coronavirus.
Other coronaviruses include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of Covid-19 can range from mild illness to pneumonia.
Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly.
People with coronavirus may experience symptoms such as:
– sore throat
– shortness of breath
Other symptoms can include runny nose, acute blocked nose (congestion), headache, muscle or joint pains, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of sense of smell, altered sense of taste, loss of appetite and fatigue.
To stop the spread of Covid-19 people with even mild symptoms of respiratory infection should get tested.
Source: Department of Health