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Melbourne gets on top of Covid

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, October 27th, 2020 - 15 comments
Categories: australian politics, covid-19, uncategorized, us politics - Tags:

Some good news from across the ditch.  Melbourne had a day free of newly notified Covid cases and State Premier Daniel Andrews has announced easing of lockdown restrictions.  From Josh Taylor at the Guardian:

The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has declared “now is the time to open up” as Melbourne’s extended lockdown ends, and the state plans to reopen retail, pubs, restaurants and other businesses.

On the day no cases were recorded for the first time in close to 20 weeks, Andrews announced an end to the stay-at-home order from Tuesday midnight.

“Now is the time to congratulate every single Victorian for staying the course. Now is the time to thank every single Victorian family for being guided by the data, the science and the doctors, not letting our frustration get the better of us but, instead, proving equal to this wicked enemy. Indeed, better than this wicked enemy.”

All retail, beauticians and tattoo parlours will be allowed to reopen, in line with Covid-safe plans.

Cafes, bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen with indoor seating of up to 20, outdoor up to 50, and recordkeeping and Covid-safe plans in place.

Weddings can be held with a maximum of 10 people, and funerals can have a maximum of 20 people. Outdoor religious ceremonies can accommodate up to 20 people, or 10 indoors.

Clear concise reporting.  Which is a world away from the way that the Murdoch empire presented the story.  The Herald reprinted a News Corp article with this headline:

Covid 19 coronavirus: ‘Fury’ erupts in Victoria after Dan Andrews refuses to ease restrictions

The text was no better.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is facing a storm of criticism over his decision not to lift the state’s lockdown sooner.

Liberal MP Tim Wilson accused Andrews of breaking a “contract” with the people of Victoria

“Victorians have consistently done the right thing,” Wilson said in an interview with 2GB breakfast host Ben Fordham.

“It is despicable that the State government is blaming a northern suburbs family for their own systems failures. Daniel Andrews has broken the contract he had with Victorians. It should be honoured.”

Wilson’s criticism intensified, with the Victorian politician adding: “Melbourne is a hellhole. So many of my friends have left or are wanting to leave. Daniel Andrews has wrecked the joint.”

The article also cites former Labor Health Minister Jenny Mikakos who fell on her sword after a damning review of Melbourne’s hotel quarantine system.

The “delay” was Andrews wanting to get all of the testing data in.  And the “fury” is in the heads of Newscorp staff.

I hope the reopening is not too early.  But all credit due to Andrews’ and Melbourne’s efforts.  Australia’s daily infection rate peaked at over 700 new infections being recorded during July.  And most of these were in Victoria.

This repeats New Zealand’s experience but emphasises the need to go hard and go early.  And follow the science.

Meanwhile in America the Trump White House has essentially announced that it is giving up.  From the Guardian:

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has just made one of the most revealing comments to emerge from Trump’s inner circle about the president’s historic mishandling of the coronavirus crisis. On a Sunday political talk show, Meadows admitted that the federal government was not focusing on trying to control the pandemic.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” he told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union. “We are going to control the fact that we get a vaccine, therapeutics and other mitigation.”

Tapper pressed Meadows to explain why the administration was not going to control Covid-19, given the massive surge that is pummeling the Midwest and mountain states. He replied: “Because it is a contagious virus.”

And Mike Pence’s chief of staff and three other members of his staff have tested positive for Covid.  So what does a responsible political leader do?  Continues to campaign by flying throughout the country and holding maskless rallies.

Europe and the States are seeing a new surge in the spread of the virus as shown by this graph.

The only way to deal with it is as shown by Melbourne and by New Zealand.  Go hard, maintain social distancing, shut down all but essential services.  And prey.

15 comments on “Melbourne gets on top of Covid ”

  1. tc 1

    Still no significant tracking via the use of a tracer app required as we have even though we've been slack with it of late.

    Feel they've missed a trick not getting that rolled out and bedded in whilst locked down.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Yes. I use the Australian one every time I go to a public, indoors location. After a number of version updates and big fixes I find it very simple and reliable.

      Why we had to reinvent the wheel beats me. It's just one of those public health tools I've been banging on about elsewhere that is available to us, we just have to get around to using it effectively.

      And yes there will be a minority of people who can't or won't use the app, but like everything it's a numbers game. All it needs is something like 80% or more of people to take it up. That's very doable if we took it seriously.

      • tc 1.1.1

        I heard on an Ozzy tech blog it was a classic example of the federal tender process !

        They’d been waiting for it to be called off and brought back to run on more well known API’s etc

        Victoria’s tracing is based on salesforce apparently. Too many cooks IMO.

  2. JanM 2

    "And prey" He he – on whom?

  3. Koff 3

    Victoria had got down to zero community trasmission before, as had NSW, but then the slack Melbourne hotel quarantine system allowed the virus to slip out into a low socio-economic community, so hope this is seriously addressed before Melbourne airport opens up to Aussies flying back from virus dense parts of the world. All other states and territories except NSW have been community virus free for weeks. Life very normal here in Queensland, but never see anyone wearing a mask or using the Covid app. Complacency will be the worst enemy if state borders open up more here.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      In many ways the advantage of lockdowns is that govts can impose them relatively easily with a high degree of compliance. Other less costly public health measures tend to rely more on a responsible population voluntarily engaging with them.

      Like you I really appreciate that life in Queensland has been relatively normal since May, but I'm still dismayed at seeing how many people still have to go to crowded pubs and other indoor spaces, that just beg for a superspreader event.

      Maybe we just get what we deserve.

      • Craig H 3.1.1

        Agree, a set of nuanced restrictions make a lot of sense on paper but are difficult for people to actually implement perfectly. A lockdown, for all its economic issues, leaves very little room for interpretation so it's much easier to comply with. And, because it’s usually a bit more restrictive than actually required, it has some room for error, so a few mistakes don’t derail the whole thing.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.2

        "Maybe we just get what we deserve."

        You can't always get what you want...

  4. Anker 4
    • People need to use the app we have. It’s simple and works well.

    a tale of two supermarkets over the weekend….. one where people were using the app, the other no one seemed to be using the app and i had to ask the check out person where it was

  5. Andre 5

    Meanwhile in Salt Lake City, my cousin (doctor in respiratory intensive care) and her husband (emergency room doctor) and all their colleagues are riding the ragged edge of putting in all the hours they possibly can, and that's nowhere near enough to meet the need. Their little one at home is about to have his first birthday having barely seen his parents for a couple of months.

    Stamp it out and keep it out. We and the very few other places that have succeeded in that are truly envied by the rest of the world right now.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.1

      Good wishes to your family Andre, that is frightening, and remarks made about just waiting for a vaccine show abdication of responsibility by authorities. Your relatives must be exhausted.

  6. barry 6

    elimination is suppression done right.

  7. McFlock 7

    That chart is a major worry.

  8. Treetop 8

    The Melbourne Cup is the first Tuesday in November. I think it is the Caufield Cup which is the winner of the trophy.

    Not sure what the crowd restriction on the day is.

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