Infectious disease doctors and experts are increasingly calling for Australia to be completely blocked for up to six weeks to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
Despite the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country increasing by 2,80 people to 2,806 on Thursday evening, the federal government has so far maintained its refusal to close schools, lock people up, and shut down all non-essential businesses.
Infectious disease expert Professor Brendan Crabb said that only keeping ‘essential services’ open was a major but necessary step.
Pedestrians walk through masks through Sydney on Thursday. Infectious disease doctors and experts call on Prime Minister to introduce full closure, including closure of schools
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government had not received medical advice to shut down schools, despite an expert panel member accompanying the government in the campaign for a full and immediate shutdown.
Mr Morrison addressed the restrictions step-by-step, including closing the borders on everything but essential travel, but Professor Crabb of the Burnet Institute in Melbourne said the measures were too easily misunderstood and called for a general closure of two to six weeks.
“This is war, this is a real war that is being fought. A lockdown type mindset sends an unambiguous message that cannot be misunderstood, ‘said Professor Crabb The age.
“Every day matters now … I would like to see a very strong line of reasoning why they (the government) should not go as fast as they can.”
Complete closure would prevent Australians from leaving their home, other than for essential reasons such as shopping.
Infectious disease expert Professor Brendan Crabb has called for retaining only ‘essential services’ to reduce the infection rate
A nurse takes a sample from a driver on Tuesday at a new COVID-19 drive-thru test facility in Adelaide
Professor Mary-Louise McLaws of the University of NSW said supermarkets, banks and pharmacies should remain open.
“Lockdown should be very serious for about three weeks,” she said news.com.au.
“During this time, things recovered and people stopped being contagious.”
A response tracker set up by the University of Oxford gives Australia a ranking of only 40 out of 100 for the severity of the lockdown.
The University of Oxford reaction tracker gives Australia a ranking of only 40 out of 100 for the lockdown level
The US and much of Europe and South America have an index between 60 and 100.
UNSW’s Raina MacIntrye, who is part of the expert panel advising the government on its COVID-19 response, said schools should be closed as part of the new shutdown.
Prof MacIntrye said the majority of the panel agrees that a short-term lock is needed immediately, but that advice is being ignored.
“I was hoping that we would see a more extensive lockdown for a short period of time, but that is not the approach we are taking. It’s more of a drop-like approach, bit by bit, that won’t be as effective at stopping the transfer in the community, ‘she told the ABC.
Leading infectious disease expert Raina MacIntrye (pictured) believes the federal government’s drop approach will not be enough to stop the transmission of COVID-19 across the country
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 2,806
New South Wales: 1,219
Western Australia: 231
South Australia: 235
Australian Capital Territory: 53
Northern Territory: 8
TOTAL CASES: 2,806
“The more you hit the brakes, the more control you have over the epidemic, the more cases there will be. The other alternative is to wait until things really get out of hand and your health system becomes infected. ‘
Professor MacIntrye said the long-term economic blow to the country would be much greater if no hard action were taken now.
“If you don’t control the disease, your economic losses will be much greater and the recovery time will be much longer,” she said.
The opinion was compiled by a panel of academics from the Australian group of eight universities and was presented to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on Monday.
The government was urged to introduce “strong immediate and coordinated social distance measures”, including school closures and stepping up testing measures.
However, the current scope and scale of government physical distance measures concerns the university panel.
The panel members are convinced that this will lead to a spike in business and an increased death toll.
Professor MacIntyre believes that it is not too late to stabilize the expected death toll, but it can only be done if 70-80 percent of people stop contacting each other.
The panel is one of many created to guide the federal government through the current health crisis.