Date published: 
26 May 2021
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

LISA MILLAR:       

Alison McMillan is the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer. She joins us now from Canberra. Good morning, Alison. Welcome to News Breakfast.

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Good morning, Lisa.

LISA MILLAR:       

What's your assessment of the situation as we go to air this morning?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

This is, Lisa, a salient reminder that COVID's not gone away, that we always knew and understood there'd be further outbreaks. I think all you've just been describing on your report there is about how much of the system has matured and improved, that we know very quickly now these exposure sites, the system swings into action, and people are being contacted very promptly. It's, again, it's very encouraging to see that, and to reiterate the message that if you do- were at any of these sites, please do follow the instructions. And if you have any symptoms at all, please do go and get tested.

LISA MILLAR:       

With nine cases, how many contacts of those could we be looking at? Like, what is the job ahead for those contact tracers?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

So, Lisa, the job ahead, obviously once the cases have been identified, they are asked to isolate immediately, to contain that further spread. And then those, the close contacts, as we know, get tested. So, there is the potential that others around these nine will test positive in the coming days, and we could anticipate seeing that. But once it is- once [indistinct]…

LISA MILLAR:       

[Interrupts] Could there be hundreds, thousands? What is that kind of extended reach?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Well, I'm not suggesting there'll be hundreds and thousands, Lisa…

LISA MILLAR:       

[Talks over] No, hundreds or thousands.

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

… But I am suggestion that we are likely to see more.

LISA MILLAR:       

Yeah. Right. No, I wasn't suggesting that you were suggesting it. I was just asking, to get some idea about the challenge that these contact tracers have. Can I ask you about some other reports this morning, Alison, including one that...

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Sure.

LISA MILLAR:       

… it just goes to the heart of this hesitancy we've been talking about with vaccinations, that even a doctor who'd made a house call to another infected person hadn't received the vaccine, and has to now go and get tested and isolate. Is that true?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

That's the report I've heard, yes, that the doctor wasn't vaccinated.

LISA MILLAR:       

Can you confirm it?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

No, I can't confirm it. But that's the reports I've heard, like you have as well. Which is, again, that reminder of why we prioritised healthcare workers as a part of our 1A rollout, because we knew that we were putting them at the frontline and encourage all healthcare workers to get vaccinated as quickly as they can.

LISA MILLAR:       

Alright. Alison McMillan, we'll leave it there. Thanks for your time.

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Thank you.

Contact

Departmental media enquiries

Contact for members of the media

news [at] health.gov.au (subject: Media%20enquiry%20-%20News%20item%20ID22656, body: URL - https%3A%2F%2Fwww.health.gov.au%2Fnews%2Fchief-midwifery-and-nursing-officer-professor-alison-mcmillans-interview-on-abc-news-breakfast-26-may-2021)

View contact