At least four people have died after the sudden outbreak of “thunderstorm asthma”, prompting an investigation into the emergency response to the medical crisis that swept across Melbourne on Monday.
Forty-eight hours after the massive asthma event pushed the city’s healthcare system to its limits, two more people were confirmed dead.
Noble Park father-of-two, Clarence Leo, and 35-year-old man, Apollo Papadopoulos, died after suffering asthma attacks that are believed to be due to the unprecedented weather event.
As more information about the emergency response came to light on Wednesday – including details of after-hour clinics, doctors and pharmacies struggling to cope with a surge in patients – questions were raised about why a public warning was not sent out to asthma sufferers.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy, who commissioned the Inspector-General for Emergency Management to review the emergency response, said the thunderstorm asthma event could not have been predicted, but that work was underway to create new models to anticipate the effect of …