Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC is urging an immediate nationwide lockdown of non-essential services to combat the spread of COVID-19.
In an exclusive interview with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Professor Crabb described the impact of the pandemic in Australia as “war, this is an actual war being fought”.
He said the stringent containment – with the exception of essential services – would be required for two-to-six weeks to provide the best opportunity to contain community transmission, and a ‘lockdown mentality’ was necessary to convey that message.
“If it turns out that that was an over-reaction, then not much harm done,” Professor Crabb said.
“I really respect the people [at national level, making the case for a staged approach] but I would want to see very strong reasoning for why they would not go as hard as they can early, in reverse to what is happening.
“We are likely to be at the most extreme containment measures in two-to-three weeks in any case. So [that will mean] a lot more community transmission than if we went to the most extreme measures that we could take right now."
In the interview Professor Crabb also noted:
It’s not clear the public is listening to warnings about social distancing
There’s insufficient testing capacity in Australia for COVID-19
The lockdown should include schools
The prospect that the military may be required to support the public health campaign.
“The main point is pulling every lever you reasonably have, now,” he said.
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