CORONAVIRUS

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: My question is directed to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Will the minister update the council on the state government's response to COVID-19?

The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing): I thank the honourable member for his question. The COVID-19 pandemic is serious. This can't be said often enough. The Marshall Liberal government has a strong plan to respond to COVID-19 and is putting in place the measures we need to prepare South Australians based on the best advice of our public health clinicians.

On Sunday, the Premier announced a major emergency, requiring everyone entering the state, including residents, to self-isolate for 14 days. Consistent with other jurisdictions, we have closed restaurants and bars and implemented strict controls on social distancing at indoor and outdoor events.

These strong measures have been accompanied by a raft of health measures. So far, we have opened 18 clinics across metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia for dedicated COVID-19 testing. We have tested over 17,000 South Australians, one of the highest testing rates per capita in the world. We have identified three sites at dedicated facilities to be part of our COVID-19 response, with over 70 beds secured at College Grove, the old Wakefield hospital and the Repat.

This is not just an issue of the government's response. The whole community needs to respond to the challenge of COVID-19. This includes social distancing and the practice of good hygiene, as well as compliance with orders regarding self-isolation. These measures can go a long way to flatten the curve of COVID-19.

One excellent example of a community pulling together at this time can be seen in the work put into the dedicated facilities that the government has secured. Last week, the Premier and I announced the opening of the old Wakefield hospital as a dedicated COVID-19 facility. A significant contribution was made to this through the generosity of Rotary. I pause and make the point, and acknowledge the contribution that the honourable member has made to Rotary over the years. I understand that he was given one of the highest accolades of that organisation, a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Rotary is a longtime friend of Australian health. Rotary has a dedicated fund that supports health, both health research and health services. On this occasion, their generosity was expressed by donating a variety of medical equipment, including 141 beds, 12 ECG monitors and seven ventilators, allowing early establishment of a COVID-19 facility in our state. This very generous donation has supported the government's rapid response to COVID-19, making beds available for those who are likely to need them most in the coming months. It is estimated that the value of these beds is around $0.5 million.

On behalf of the South Australian government, I would like to thank Rotary for their support and generous donation to the state. This is a fantastic example of a community spirit that will help our state and our country to save lives and cope with the looming COVID-19 pandemic. I urge all South Australians to follow this example by doing their bit to stop COVID-19 through social distancing, good hygiene and compliance with self-isolation protocols.