The Australian state that should NEVER reopen its borders because its coronavirus goals are ‘unreasonably strict’
- Western Australia is committed to reopening its border with the rest of Australia
- States and territories are not allowed to record community messages for 28 days
- Health expert warned that the state’s ‘admirable’ benchmark may never be reached
- State chief health officer says hard boundary is vital to contain coronavirus threat
Western Australia may never reopen its hard borders to the rest of the country unless its ‘unreasonably stringent’ is relaxed, an expert epidemiologist has warned.
Prime Minister Mark McGowan has refused to reopen the borders until all other states and territories have recorded zero broadcasts from the community for 28 consecutive days.
His strict stance was echoed this week by the state’s chief health officer, Andy Robertson, who argued that the hard boundary is crucial to controlling the coronavirus threat in WA.
But Mary-Louise McLaws, a University of NSW advisor, advisor to the World Health Organization, has warned that WA’s benchmark may never be reached.
WA closed its borders to the rest of the country six months ago and has yet to reopen them. Pictured is police stopping drivers at a checkpoint 110 km south of Perth
“I don’t think the 28 days are warnable,” said Professor McLaws ABC.
“It’s admirable, but it’s looking for total eradication, or close to it. And I don’t think we can achieve that. ‘
She believes a two-week moving average of less than five cases across all states and territories is more realistic.
It has been six months since WA first broke its borders for the rest of the country on April 2.
Mr. McGowan was the only state or territory leader who made no commitment to reopen the borders before Christmas at a recent meeting of the national cabinet.
According to the state government website, the Western Australian borders will only be reopened “when appropriate,” based on WA health advice.
“It is regularly reviewed and considered,” adds the website.
The Western Australia border will not be opened until all other states and territories have recorded zero community broadcasts for 28 consecutive days. Pictured is an abandoned Perth Airport
Dr. Robertson says the state will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves.
“If you look at the models, we’re probably one of the most susceptible states now if an infection were to come in here,” he told the ABC.
WA health authorities are trying to contain an outbreak of 17 cases on the Patricia Oldendorff freighter anchored off Port Headland on the northwest coast.
No new cases were reported on Wednesday, but nine people remain on the ship as essential crew, seven of whom have tested positive.
There are also 12 crew members quarantined at the gated Hedland Hotel, where all but two of them tested positive.
According to the state government website, the Western Australian borders will only be reopened “when appropriate.” Pictured is Perth, the state capital
NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has criticized states with strict border restrictions, claiming that they “ live in a false sense of security. ”
“They welcome people from other states,” Berejiklian told Sunrise on Wednesday.
“ We said that if you want to keep the economy going, break the boundaries, let people move freely, get the tourism industry going and of course we can look into the possibilities of getting more people to go to catering establishments, but we have to make sure we are ready for that. ‘
NSW recorded its sixth consecutive day of zero community transmissions when Queensland opened its border to 152,000 NSW residents on the Far North Coast on Thursday, just in time for the holiday weekend and the second week of the school holidays.
The only two new cases recorded in NSW on Thursday were travelers in hotel quarantine,
Victoria’s two-week moving average has fallen to 15.6, despite an additional 15 cases on Thursday.
Andy Robertson, WA’s chief health officer, says the hard boundary is critical to controlling the coronavirus threat. Pictured is the Elizabeth Quay Bridge in Perth, illuminated red on Wednesday evening