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“I don’t see how a short sharp lockdown does anything”

Oliver Peterson
Article image for “I don’t see how a short sharp lockdown does anything”

A leading infectious diseases expert believes Perth’s five-day lockdown won’t provide much benefit given there is only one case and WA has good contact tracing capabilities.

Infectious Diseases Physician & Microbiologist at the Australian National University Dr Peter Collignon told Oliver Peterson lockdowns have a place but only when there is a lot of mystery community transmission.

“If you’ve got a known case and you’ve got good testing and contact tracing, you should be able to have all those cases identified and kept in isolation so it doesn’t spread.”

Comparing the lockdown style of NSW and Victoria to that of other states such as WA, Dr Collignon said, “the short lockdowns that have occurred recently in Adelaide, Brisbane and now Perth; as far as I can see those lockdowns didn’t make any additional control compared to good testing and case ascertainment.”

Given the average five day incubation period of the virus, Dr Collignon adds it takes about 14-days to be “really sure” that there are no more cases.

“You’ve got to keep restrictions on bars, clubs, crowded indoors venues and wear masks, particularly indoors.

“I don’t see how a short sharp lockdown does anything other than buy contact tracers more time.”

It was revealed today the hotel quarantine security guard who has tested positive for the UK strain of COVID-19 was not required to wear a mask. Dr Collignon says this high risk work requires a mask and eye protection if personnel are going to be within three metres of anyone with COVID.

“We do need to improve what we do with our PPE for people in high risk situations and that’s security guards in hotel quarantine services.

“So we minimize the further the risk this will go from returned travellers with it [COVID] to those who will then take it into the community.”

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(Photo credit – Getty/iStock)

Oliver Peterson
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