An infectious disease expert says the Victorian government needs to analyze where COVID-19 is spreading in the state, with a warning that vulnerable people should take more precautions against the virus.
When Victoria registered 1362 new cases on Friday morning – the highest number since early November – pediatrician for infectious diseases, Professor Robert Booy, said the state’s reopening “was certainly the source of infections”.
“Victoria began to open up with a large number of cases,” said the professor at the University of Sydney 3AW mornings.
“New South Wales never got more than 1500 a day. So for the Victorian people you should only be max at 1100 to 1200, but you have been as high as 2000,” he said.
“So I think complacency, lethargy and having multiple instances when you started, like NSW did, affects what you experience.” Professor Booy said the state health authorities needed to look closely at the transmission to identify the most worrying areas of growing infection. “Focused, conscious improvements can make a real difference,” he said.
“I think Victoria also suffered from complacency, and even more than complacency – lethargy. The locks became so long and so many people lost energy to be as careful as they had been.”
He said Victorians could put “reasonable” restrictions on themselves to reduce the spread, such as wearing a mask indoors and continuing with social distance.
“I think people at risk should take their own personal precautions for a start,” he said.
“Vaccinated people can get a mild breakthrough infection. But if you have a chronic major medical problem, you can – despite vaccination – get a moderate or severe illness.
“I think the government should reconsider what has happened over the last week and actually look closely at who gets infected … Look at where the transfer is taking place: ‘Is it in certain jobs? Is it in certain households in certain areas? ‘ and focus on where it’s a problem. “