(Image: AAP/Dave Hunt)

This little piggy 

Cough, fever and frostbitten toes — the list of potential symptoms for COVID-19 goes on and on. Now, Australian doctors have reported an uptick in patients with chilblains — a rash appearing on patients’ feet. 

The link between COVID-19 and chilblains was first reported in May, with one study finding itchy small red bumps and blisters appeared on up to 9% of patients in the study. The rashes sometimes appeared in the absence of other symptoms. 

New research has also found COVID-19 patients in Perth recovered from the virus only to develop signs of a “post-COVID syndrome,” consisting of diabetes, liver dysfunction, acute inflammation and increased cardiovascular risk.

The syndrome affects multiple organs. It affected people who had mild or minor lung effects.

Aged care failures

The federal government knew about staffing issues at nursing homes four months ago, a report lodged with the royal commission has revealed. 

The confidential report to federal authorities looked at an outbreak at Dorothy Henderson Lodge, a Sydney nursing home where six residents died from the virus. It found carers were unfamiliar with prevention and control precautions and many were scarfed to go to work.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denied the federal government didn’t have a plan to prepare the aged care sector for the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, bags of used personal protective equipment and other medical waste are being piled high outside a nursing home linked to 108 cases. 

Border bickering 

States continue to argue about border restrictions with NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro saying closures are “cumbersome” for residents who live between NSW and Queensland. Barilaro has also said the NSW-Victoria border restrictions need to be relaxed.

It comes after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was criticised for saying Queensland state hospitals should be for “our people”. Some Australians have struggled to get specialist medical care due to the closures.

Victoria this morning recorded 240 new cases and 13 deaths in a day — a slight increase from yesterday’s 216 new cases. Today was meant to be the day stage three restrictions would lift, before the harsher lockdown was implemented three weeks ago.

NSW recorded five new COVID-19 cases today, while Queensland issued a health alert for Brisbane residents after a tourist who later tested positive for COVID-19 visited the city. 

COVID-19 spikes around the world

Spain has reported record-high COVID-19 cases since the country came out of a strict lockdown in late June, with 3715 new infections on Wednesday making a total of 370,867 cumulative cases. Spain has the highest total tally of cases in western Europe. 

Sweden, which imposed limited rules and restrictions for residents and pursued a suppression strategy, has recorded more than 5700 deaths from the virus. Like Australia, its government has launched an inquiry into how aged care home have been managed during the crisis. 

Sweden’s death rates are, however, surpassed by Italy, Britain and Spain, as well as the US.

Deaths in Florida alone have reached more than 10,000. More than 170,000 people have died in the US, which has more than 5.5 million cases.

Up to one in six Indians living in crowded areas have been infected with COVID-19, making an average of one in four across the country. It has the third-highest number of cases behind Brazil and the US. 

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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