Queensland authorities are investigating what caused an unexpected increase in the number of emergency calls for an ambulance yesterday.
- Queensland recorded its highest number of triple-0 calls outside of a COVID peak
- Ambulance Commissioner said the service saw an additional 400 code one calls
- COVID hospitalisations again rise as new daily case numbers fall
There were 3,789 calls to triple-0 for an ambulance, the fourth-highest number of triple-0 calls on record, and a volume that rivalled those made during the state’s COVID-19 wave in January.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said there was a 32 per cent jump in emergency calls and the increase prompted Telstra to include a message advising people of the high demand.
Callers were advised that if the health issue was not an emergency, they should ring 13Health instead.
Ms D’Ath said a similar message was used in New South Wales yesterday and it is only used under dire circumstances.
“Telstra does this when they consider that there could be extra demand and which actually potentially put at risk people also trying to get through to police and fire and emergency services,” she said.
The recorded call system was turned off in Queensland at 10pm.
‘Sometimes you can’t explain why those things happen’
Ms D’Ath said Telstra had previously only initiated the pre-approved call system at a national level.
“It was not only a very large increase in triple-0 calls but an increase in those most serious of calls needing emergency care,” she said.
Ambulance Commissioner Craig Emery said the ambulance service saw an additional 400 code ones, the highest level of emergency.
The government is still gathering information to find out why there was a spike in calls yesterday, Ms D’Ath said.
Queensland recorded six more COVID-19 deaths and 7,882 new cases in the latest reporting period.
The number of people being treated in hospital increased from 518 yesterday to 572 today, including 16 people in intensive care.
Ms D’Ath said the rise in hospitalisations amid a fall in the average of new daily cases was expected.
“What we have seen with Omicron in the second wave is, as we expected, the case numbers are starting to come down in the community which is great news,” she said.
“This is further evidence we are coming off the wave but we are seeing, of course, those people who are unwell coming into the hospital system.”
“We also recorded 3,416 health workers and 195 QAS operational staff who are furloughed as well.”