An infectious disease expert has warned that Australia’s new COVID prevention strategy will “only work if people get vaccinated”.
Key points:Dr Andrew Cawley said it was important to get people vaccinated before the outbreak endsDr Andrew Gee said it could take until September to get the full number of people vaccinatedDr Andrew Siewert warned that the government’s new plan would only work if “people got vaccinated”Dr Andrew Meehan said the plan would take until later this year to reach the target number of vaccineesDr Michael Gove said he was “very concerned” about the potential impacts of COVID on the Australian economyDr Andrew Fagan said the country needed a COVID strategy that was “real, credible, and consistent”Dr Tom Witherspoon said he believed it was “completely irresponsible” for the government to focus on a “very narrow” response to COVID.
Dr Andrew Hsieh, an infectious disease specialist from the University of New South Wales, said the strategy needed to be developed “in real time”, and could not be rushed.
“It’s not going to work if we wait until September because it’s going to make the pandemic even more likely,” he told AAP.
Dr Andrew Ainsworth, director of the University’s Institute of Global Health, said COVID was “an issue of public health and public health management”.
“If you think about how the world is doing, it’s not like we are going through a pandemic right now, we’re not,” he said.
He said the situation would only worsen if Australia continued to ignore the virus, and continued to focus only on prevention.
Mr Ainsoraid the government needed to focus its attention on “prevention and public healthcare”.
He suggested that the Government needed to address the COID-19 pandemic “in the same way it did the Great Depression, when it was a very small outbreak”.
“If the government was going to be responsible for COVID, it needed to take care of the public healthcare system and public transport system,” he added.
The Government has also announced a $12 million fund to help fund COVID treatment, research and treatment for those who have died of COID.
Dr Cawling said it would not be enough to prevent a COID pandemic, but that the plan was “good news” for Australia’s economy.
“It will help get the pandemics under control and will help us do a better job at preventing more deaths,” he explained.
In a separate development, a spokesman for the Department of Health said that while there were no data available on how many people had died of the coronavirus, “the majority of people who have had COVID are still alive”.
“The data we have is quite limited, but we have to be realistic, because we don’t have enough information to know if the death rates have gone down,” he admitted.
Meanwhile, the Government’s Health Minister Dr Peter Dutton said there had been no increase in COVID deaths in Victoria.
Victoria has had the highest COVID mortality rate in the country, with more than 5,300 COVID cases in the state and more than 6,500 deaths.
Dr Dutton also announced that the National Health Service (NHS) would expand the number of COFFS beds it could use to meet the demand for healthcare services.
This will see up to 2,600 more COFFs available to provide support for people who need support in emergency departments and emergency beds.
Dr Peter Dukes said the expansion was part of the Government trying to meet its COVID contingency plans.
And he said that although there was no immediate increase in the number who died of coronaviruses, there were also many more people who died from other types of infections.
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