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

ALLISON LANGDON:

Thanks for joining us this morning. From zero community cases to nine in just over a day, that is the situation Victoria is grappling with right now as the COVID cluster grows.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

And we're being warned to brace for more, with one man possibly infectious in the community for more than a week. Let's join Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Professor Alison McMillan in Canberra. Professor, good morning to you. Here we go again, huh, how does it look to you? … Are you there?

ALISON MCMILLAN:

Good morning, Karl.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Yeah, yeah. How is it looking for you this morning?

ALISON MCMILLAN:

Oh, I think that we always have expected we'll see more community transmission and outbreaks like this. COVID's not gone away.

ALLISON LANGDON:

We have seen outbreaks over the past...

ALISON MCMILLAN:

Well, we've seen this outbreak and we'd expected to see outbreaks because COVID hasn't gone away, Karl. It’s just a really good reminder.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Sorry, we've got a massive delay here.

ALLISON LANGDON:

Makes it very complicated.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Very sorry, Professor…

ALISON MCMILLAN:

Sorry, Ally. I can't hear you.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Basically I'm going to continue with this one more question. If you can just give us an outline of what they're confronting in Melbourne and Victoria over the next couple of days, and what we'll be looking out for insofar as lockdowns might be concerned.

ALISON MCMILLAN:

Okay. So, Karl, as you know and as you've already said, there's currently nine cases. We could anticipate to see a few more in the coming days because of the family contacts. So all of those people are obviously now in isolation. There are more than 40 exposure sites across Melbourne and country Victoria now as well. So encouraging everyone to go and check that website to see if they've been exposed. Also including now, the football.

It's a really important reminder of why we need everyone who's eligible at the moment to get vaccinated. This vaccine- this- the virus has not gone away and it's just evidence that it's still here. We're moving into winter. So please, I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and if you've got any symptoms of COVID whatsoever, go and get tested. Thanks, Karl.

ALLISON LANGDON:

Alright. Alison, thank you so much for that and apologies there for the audio issues we were having.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

And look, I think there are some dramas around those testing stations. And all through the morning, we've had experts agreeing that there needed to be more done. When you're talking about a capacity like this, I know they can come as a bit of a surprise, but you would've thought that was fixed. And when you have literally thousands and thousands of people lining up in their cars to get tested and they get shut down because of demand, I think you've got to have allowances for that kind of thing. If Victorians, which they are doing, 100 per cent the right thing, and I think most Victorians this morning and most that we've spoken to this morning, are prepared to do whatever it takes, whatever it takes, then they need the backing, just some of that logistical backing, in order for them to do the right thing and maintain it.

ALLISON LANGDON: 

And it's not like they've been taken by surprise with this today either. We saw yesterday, it was before 9 o'clock, some of those testing stations actually closed because they were overwhelmed. So you'd think that by now - and we saw the queues there this morning. People are getting out and about. They're doing the right thing. They do not want to go into a situation like they saw last year, and it does- I know we've seen outbreaks over the last couple of weeks and months in different states and that we've got on top of them very quickly. The issue here is just how many exposure sites and for how long those people were travelling around in the community unaware that they had COVID.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

The contact tracing wasn't right either at the start. I mean, so just again, those logistical things, when they get it wrong…

ALLISON LANGDON: 

It was getting the wrong shopping centre. They said it was a Woolworths and the wrong location that they shut down.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

But I'm saying if you can't get that right, then come on. And look, I just feel, and Ally and I deeply feel for Victorians who have weathered the storm so incredibly well and shouldered much of the burden this country has seen, and I can't help but feel that you could've been better served. But wish you all the very best in the next couple of days. We'll be following this very closely for you as well.

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