By Matthew Cairns By ABC News staffA new coronavirus outbreak in Western Australia has led to a spike in the number of new cases, with the total number of people who are now being vaccinated for the coronaviruses pneumonic form and poliovirus jumping from more than 500 on Wednesday to more than 1,200 on Friday.
The numbers of cases have increased from just under 1,000 on Wednesday, to more nearly 2,400 on Friday, the WA Department of Health said in a statement.
There have also been reports of some children in the state getting vaccinated as well, it said.
The WA Department said more than 700 cases of the coronacovirus have been reported so far, but it did not provide the number by name.
“We’re really concerned about the spread of the virus in WA and the impact it’s having on the community,” WA Health Minister Tim Pallas said.
“We are monitoring the spread and we need to get as many of the new cases as we can into hospitals as quickly as we possibly can.”
Mr Pallas told reporters that more than 70 per cent of the people who have been vaccinated for polioviruses have not had any symptoms.
WA Chief Health Officer Professor Mike Laidlaw said the number one priority is to get the virus under control in WA.
“The best way to do that is to ensure that all people who can be vaccinated are vaccinated,” Professor Laidaw said.
“So, we want to ensure as many people as possible are vaccinated.”
Professor LaidAW said that as of Monday, more than 2,200 people had been vaccinated, and that a total of 1,942 people had had their vaccination status changed.
“I think what we’re going to see is that a lot of people are going to get their vaccinations because they’re doing what they can to protect themselves and their families,” Professor Pallas added.
“It’s the most important thing that we can do at this stage.”
Dr Andrew Jones, from the Public Health Victoria, said the coronavalve virus could be spreading from person to person in WA because of the lack of surveillance.
“If you’ve got people who might have not been exposed to a lot and they are getting a new coronovirus, that could be a very dangerous situation for them and it would put a lot more strain on the health system,” Dr Jones said.
In a statement, WA Health said it was working closely with the Department of Public Health, Health and Medical Services (DPHS) and the Department for Health and Ageing to identify the best way of controlling the spread.
“As well as continuing to monitor the virus, we are also conducting additional targeted vaccination of people at risk of spreading the virus,” the statement said.
Mr Palty said the WA Government had also been monitoring the outbreak, and he said there was no reason why more people should not be vaccinated.
“There’s not a reason why you can’t vaccinate people,” he said.
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