Magic number for borders to reopen

 

Borders should remain shut until Victoria gets itself out of its "mess" and limits new coronavirus infections to fewer than 20 a day, says the country's peak doctors group.

AMA's virology expert Dr Chris Moy said when every state gets infection numbers under control, specifically Victoria, then the premiers and chief ministers need to unite and thrash out what constitutes a hotspot and the trigger point to again restrict movements.

Victoria had 28 new cases overnight which was its lowest total in 13 weeks and brought its average number of Melbourne infections over the past 14 days to 44.4 cases and 2.9 for the rest of the state.

Australian Medical Association (SA) president Chris Moy says Victoria needs to get its new infection numbers consistently under 20 a day before borders can safely open around the country. Picture: Supplied
Australian Medical Association (SA) president Chris Moy says Victoria needs to get its new infection numbers consistently under 20 a day before borders can safely open around the country. Picture: Supplied

 

Dr Moy predicted that target may still be weeks away because NSW could potentially have a mass breakout and Victoria was still attempting to rein in its daily infection numbers.

"Nothing can happen with borders until Victoria gets its act together," Dr Moy said.

"Queensland is trying to hold the fort because they are worried about their neighbour (NSW) and we need to see those numbers in Victoria come down and over a longer time.

"You need to get numbers down to 10 to 20 cases a day and even then with those numbers Victoria got into trouble last time and that's when the states need that medium and longer-term discussion about what number constitutes a hot spot."

He said a major hurdle for the country was that the premiers were working independently and not communicating with each other to protect their interests, similar to banks, and needed to come together to work as a team to take the country forward.

That will happen when Victoria gets on top of its second wave "because that was a disaster", he said.

Dr Moy said he was not surprised by an Australian National University study which found up to 70,000 Australians could have contracted the virus before the second wave hit which in itself is almost seven times higher than the 11,000 reported cases.

He said there could be multiple reasons for the finding including asymptomatic people were far less infectious than those showing signs of the virus, social distancing, self-isolation and people working from home.

One of the most notable people to have tested positive multiple times for coronavirus but showed no signs was Channel 9 personality Richard Wilkins.

Wilkins remained quarantined at home for almost three weeks as he waited for the all-clear to step outside again.

"A lot of those people who are asymptomatic are less infectious than someone showing symptoms because they are not coughing and spluttering," he said.

Originally published as Magic number for borders to reopen


Woman suffers face burns after gas explosion south of Dalby

Premium Content Woman suffers face burns after gas explosion south of Dalby

A WOMAN has been transported to Toowoomba Hospital with face injuries after a gas...

Severe storm warning issued for Western Downs

Premium Content Severe storm warning issued for Western Downs

AS A SEVERE storm inches towards the Western Downs, Dalby residents may experience...

Scared resident calls police as man tries to break in

Premium Content Scared resident calls police as man tries to break in

POLICE have been called to a Chinchilla address to deal with a man known to a...