'Very concerned': Expert's warning to Australia as hotspots prepare for lockdown

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Australia’s deputy chief medical officer believes there could be more coronavirus outbreaks after Victoria moved to lockdown 10 postcodes.

Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday 10 postcodes across the state will be placed under strict new rules as of 11:59pm on Wednesday to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Victoria reported 64 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the country’s daily tally to 71.

Not long after Mr Andrews spoke, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told reporters he’s “very concerned” about Victoria amid the virus outbreaks.

 ADF (Australian Defence Force) personnel assist with a COVID-19 testing at Melbourne Showgrounds.
Australian Defence Force personnel assist with a coronvirus testing at Melbourne Showgrounds. Source: Getty Images

“Getting on top of this outbreak is in the national interest, and I am heartened by the response we have seen,” Professor Kidd said.

He said the state’s level of testing is “exceptional and unprecedented”.

“The actions being taken by the Victorian government will save lives. The Commonwealth has invited and encouraged Victoria to seek more support.”

Victoria has requested an additional 800 people for support, including 200 clinical staff to carry out testing, 100 people to assist with community engagement and door-knocking, and 500 people to assist with further testing, contact tracing and public engagement.

A man places a swab in his mouth as he is tested at a pop-up testing facility during a COVID-19 testing blitz in the suburb of Broadmeadows in Melbourne, Australia.
A man undergoes a test in Broadmeadows, Melbourne. Source: Getty Images

‘We expect to see outbreaks occurring’

When asked if he could see other states following Victoria’s plan and renewing restrictions, Professor Kidd said he believes everyone is watching what happens next.

“We have said right from the outset that we expect to see outbreaks occurring and when those outbreaks do occur we move in, we test, we trace and we respond and that is exactly what happened in Victoria in response to the community transmission that we have seen over the past week or so,” Professor Kidd said.

“Every state and territory needs to look at the three steps they're moving true and make their decisions about which steps are appropriate, what restrictions can and can't be used at this time, in their own states, for their own populations.

“So, obviously, it's based on the local epidemiology, but also the context of what is happening right across the country.”

He added Australians are still returning from overseas and there’s a risk of further outbreaks occurring.

People return to the movie theatre at Cinema Nova in Carlton in Melbourne, Australia. Premier
People at the Cinema Nova in Carlton walk past hand sanitiser. Source: Getty Images

Mr Andrews spoke out against almost 1,000 people living two of the hotspot suburbs who refused virus testing over the past week.

Professor Kidd pleaded with anyone who is asked to comply.

“These tests are there to protect us all,” he said.

“They'll be protecting you and your health and wellbeing. They'll be protecting your family, they'll be protecting the wider community.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd is pictured.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said we could see more outbreaks. Source: AAP (file pic)

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