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Why a top World Health Organisation advisor wants Australians to keep wearing masks

Up to 15,000 Australians are expected to die from Covid-19 this year, and an infectious disease expert says that is “way too high”.

Professor Margaret Hellard, of the Burnet Institute, has helped advise the Victorian and federal governments during the pandemic and also advised the World Health Organization on hepatitis C surveillance and screening.

On Thursday, she warned that the country is on the cusp of seeing 10,000 to 15,000 Covid-19 deaths this year, which she says is far too high.

Up to 15,000 Australians are expected to die from Covid-19 this year, and an infectious disease expert says that figure is 'way too high' (pictured, a pedestrian in Sydney)

Up to 15,000 Australians are expected to die from Covid-19 this year, and an infectious disease expert says that figure is ‘way too high’ (pictured, a pedestrian in Sydney)

Infectious disease expert Margaret Hellard (pictured) says more can be done to curb the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths across Australia

Infectious disease expert Margaret Hellard (pictured) says more can be done to curb the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths across Australia

“This kind of idea that’s going around … that there’s nothing we can add or offer, and that things really can’t be done, is actually false,” Professor Hellard told a Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into the pandemic orders of the United States. state.

‘The current vaccination level is not high enough.’

She said that if Australia cut Covid-19 transmission by 20 percent, more than 2,000 lives could be saved.

Prof Hellard said that instead of society accepting the new ‘Covid normal’, authorities still needed to take measures to minimize virus cases and deaths.

Those measures could include introducing masks in enclosed spaces, ensuring air quality, making ongoing and concerted efforts to increase vaccination coverage, and maintaining virus testing and isolation.

“The modeling clearly shows that ongoing testing and isolation is important,” she said.

A top professor has estimated that if Australia cut Covid-19 transmission by 20 percent, more than 2,000 lives could be saved (pictured, a Melbourne health worker in March)

A top professor has estimated that if Australia cut Covid-19 transmission by 20 percent, more than 2,000 lives could be saved (pictured, a Melbourne health worker in March)

Authorities have been urged to introduce masks in closed spaces and make efforts to increase vaccination coverage to minimize deaths (pictured, Melbourne health workers in October)

Authorities have been urged to introduce masks in closed spaces and make efforts to increase vaccination coverage to minimize deaths (pictured, Melbourne health workers in October)

“(Our) optimized study shows that the public…clearly welcomes continued regulation of the fact that if you have Covid, (you) should stay at home, and if you are a contact person, to take steps for testing and the Like it.

She said Australia needed a clear definition of success in the context of pandemic control.

That would initially be based on the number of cases, health service capacity, Covid-related deaths and the level of social and economic disruption caused by the virus.

“We need to consider whether we should have trigger thresholds,” said Prof. Hellard.

“It could be nationally agreed trigger thresholds that oblige jurisdictions to implement public health measures that acutely reduce transmission and the number of cases, and this has been effective in a number of countries.”

Prof Hellard has warned society not to accept the new 'Covid normal' as a new study predicts that up to 15,000 people will die from the virus this year (pictured, a testing facility in Ballarat)

Prof Hellard has warned society not to accept the new ‘Covid normal’ as a new study predicts that up to 15,000 people will die from the virus this year (pictured, a testing facility in Ballarat)

Meanwhile, research shows that around 20,000 fewer Australians were hospitalized with injuries during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic as restrictions hampered movement.

A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that the number of hospitalizations for injuries fell by 14.3 percent between March and May 2020 compared to the previous year.

In all, there were 120,850 hospitalizations with injuries in Australia during the three-month period amid nationwide lockdowns – 20,090 fewer than the corresponding period in 2019.

The number of injuries from drowning (35.3 percent), electricity and air pressure (33.8 percent), contact with living things (28.2 percent), natural forces (46 percent) including natural disasters and overload (30.1 percent) cent) decreased dramatically.

A top professor has stated that current vaccination levels across Australia are 'not high enough' (pictured, a woman will receive the Pfizer vaccine in Melbourne in August 2021)

A top professor has stated that current vaccination levels across Australia are ‘not high enough’ (pictured, a woman will receive the Pfizer vaccine in Melbourne in August 2021)

Also, injury types such as fractures (16.2 percent), dislocations (21.8 percent), soft tissue (22.7 percent), and intracranial (23.1 percent), as people spent more time at home.

In addition, Covid-19 restrictions changed the locations of injuries, with fewer injuries occurring in schools (49.6 percent), sports areas (72.7 percent) and industrial or construction sites (12.7 percent).

As expected, home injuries rose 8.5 percent over the same period, or 3,350 cases.

Meanwhile, authorities in South Australia confirmed the death of a three-year-old child who had tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.

SA Health said the cause of death was being investigated and the case was being referred to the state coroner.

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