on air now

Jacqui Lambie fears Tasmanian COVID-19 outbreak could lead to ‘a hell of a lot of deaths’

3AW Mornings

Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has warned there will be “a hell of a lot of deaths” if the community in Burnie, in the state’s north-west, isn’t given enough help to deal with a major coronavirus hospital outbreak.

There have been 78 cases linked to the outbreak at Burnie’s North West Regional Hospital and the North West Private Hospital.

Both hospitals have been ordered to close their doors temporarily and all 1200 workers at the hospitals have been told to self-isolate at home, prompting fears frontline workers’ families may be at risk.

“They’re putting their families in the firing line,” Senator Jacqui Lambie told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.

“We’re not containing it.”

There are concerns about how the community will deal with the outbreak while hospitals are closed.

“We had GPs picking up the slack yesterday,” Ms Lambie said.

The hospitals hope to reopen emergency departments in two days, but a full reopening could take weeks.

Ms Lambie said she fears what will happen if the north-west Tasmanian community isn’t provided with enough federal assistance.

“It’s scaring the hell out of most of us down here,” she said.

“If it turns really bad down here we’re going to need ventilators and a hell of a lot more equipment really, really quickly, otherwise we’re going to have a hell of a lot of deaths on our doorstep.”

Press PLAY below for more.

Image: Steve Christo – Corbis / Getty

3AW Mornings