Australia's leading doctor appeared to be close to tears as he described the “astronomical explosion” in cases in Victoria's care homes.

Tony Bartone, the president of the Australian Medical Association explained the situation to Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon.

“Our residents in aged care facilities are just a heartbeat away from calamity,” he explained, with his voice cracking in emotion, to the Today show this morning.

“We have seen this astronomical explosion in cases there. The PPE is not being worn. Infection control procedures are not being implemented in some.

“This is just absolutely unsustainable and we are just going to see the (case) numbers continue to rise.”

Dr Tony Bartone said “trusted leadership” was vital to bringing the country out of “this critical phase”.

“We need that circuit breaker and that's why a trusted leadership, trusted medical leadership, clinicians at the table, like we had in the first wave nationally, is what we need now,” Dr Bartone told Today.

“People are becoming frustrated and complacent not listening to the messages and we need to re-assert that leadership and that's why we called on National Cabinet to reconvene and provide that important circuit breaker to try to create that sense of this is really serious.”

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said that it was a “deeply serious situation”.

“We're focussing on bringing resources to Victoria, to assist and our task has been to surge the aged care workforce, provide the support there,” Mr Hunt told Today.

“But perhaps most critically, for the future and the health of the state, to assist with Victoria in their coordination of their tracing program. To achieve that outcome of each case, every day, that is fundamental to stemming the flow.

“But it's a combination now of that tracing, of those protective measures and then working with the Victorian public on the critical elements such as masks, the distancing, the cough etiquette, all of these things.

“It's a partnership between the public and the government.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.

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