Doctors fear Australia will become 'next Italy' as they call for lockdown

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

Doctors in Australia are sending a strong message to the government to lockdown the country if it has any hope of stopping the climb in coronavirus cases and subsequent deaths.

If numbers of people infected with COVID-19 continue to grow as they have, Australia could be in a worse position than Italy’s current state in just three weeks time, according to a petition addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“On current growth rates the 370 cases in Australia today will be 750 on Friday, 1500 on Tuesday next week, 3000 next Saturday, 6000 on the 1st of April and 12,000 by the 4th of April,” the open letter read before total numbers climbed to 452 on Tuesday.

“This is less than three weeks from now and puts us in a worse position than Italy is currently in.”

The letter explained that even if strict social distancing was implemented immediately, it would take two weeks before it had an effect on the number of cases of coronavirus, as seen in China and Italy.

The petition, which has gained thousands of signatures since being established on Monday, called on Mr Morrison to enforce two major measures to keep coronavirus case numbers from skyrocketing.

Doctors have a grim six months ahead of them inside Australian hospitals. Source: Twitter

The first was to immediately implement strict rules of lockdown and social distancing, similar to what has already proven successful overseas.

They also called on the government to deliver support to prepare Australia’s health systems for a surge of COVID-19 cases and critically ill patients.

”These measures would reduce the numbers and presentation rate of COVID-19 patients and allow our health system to cope,” it read.

Data from China and Europe had shown the numbers of cases to double every three to five days before strict lockdown and social distancing rules were implemented, according to the letter.

The author of the petition, intensive care specialist Greg Kelly, said he consulted with colleagues at several big hospitals in both Sydney and Melbourne before writing out the appeal, ABC reported.

Australia was heading in the same direction, with data shown in a graph illustrating rapidly climbing numbers just like what was seen in China, Italy, Iran and South Korea.

Without urgent action, Australia becomes less likely to flatten the curve, like Singapore and Hong Kong, and more likely to track the path of disaster countries.

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