Date published: 
5 August 2020
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

LISA MILLAR:

We also have, from Canberra, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Michael Kidd. MichaeI Kidd, want to take the opportunity to ask you about this because it has set people off this morning. Does having people come over to do your lawn mowing - or well, cleaning also - but in particular the gardening, is that a cause for concern? And do you believe that this is an area that the Premier was hoping would shut down with so many other parts of Melbourne from today?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Look, I didn't hear the interview earlier in the day but we need to be adhering to the restrictions which have been put in place by the Premier. These have been based on the best public health advice about what is going to be effective in turning around the COVID-19 rates that we're seeing in the state and everybody needs to adhere to it. Yes, it's going to cause a huge amount of disruption and frustration for many, many people and we're very concerned about that, but this period of have very significant shutdown is in place for a reason and we all have to adhere.

LISA MILLAR:

Look, we also spoke to the New South Wales Premier earlier, Michael, and he was- she was saying that being asked about mandatory mask-wearing when people arrive at the airport and then they're heading home. Should it be mandatory?

MICHAEL KIDD:

So, this is people coming from Victoria?

LISA MILLAR:

Yes.

MICHAEL KIDD:

If people coming from Victoria, yes, they should be wearing masks because, of course, they're coming from an area of very significant community transmission. There is the possibility that they may have been infected with COVID-19 and may be asymptomatic at this time, but still at risk of infecting other people. Those people should be wearing a mask, they should be going straight home and straight into isolation.

LISA MILLAR:

Yeah, so they're being given masks and sort of it's up to them whether they do it or not. Clearly we've seen compliance by people when it's voluntary or not hasn't really hit a hundred per cent in the past, so we need to start looking at something that is more mandatory.

MICHAEL KIDD:

Well, most people of course are behaving magnificently and doing exactly the right thing. They're following the instructions from the Government because they realise that this is to protect their lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of everybody in our community. And so we can only urge everybody to please follow the restrictions.

LISA MILLAR:

And what about this idea from the AMA and also the New South Wales Opposition that Victorians need to be treated just like international visitors and be put in hotel quarantine?

MICHAEL KIDD:

So for Victorians who are moving into other states obviously, as I've already said, they are coming from an area of significant community transmission and they may be people who have been infected and are infectious to other people. I think as long as people do go into isolation in their homes and they stay there, as long as we have the measures in place to be able to follow-up and make sure that people are all adhering to the restrictions then we don't need to be putting people into supervised hotel quarantine. But it all depends on what the population does.

LISA MILLAR:

Yeah. And, Michael, there was heads being scratched out of Queensland when we learned that there were exemptions for diplomatic staff - that's now being tightened, that loophole. But what other exemptions are there? I mean, just in the last couple of days, people have been shocked that you could, in Victoria, be diagnosed with COVID, have to isolate, but still go out to exercise.

MICHAEL KIDD:

Yes. So each of the jurisdictions is able to provide exemptions on very rare occasions are often based on compassionate reasons. But the mainstay of our measures to protect Australia is for people coming in from overseas, is that mandatory 14 days of quarantine at the point of entry into Australia. We know that COVID-19 is running out-of-control in many countries around the world, very high risk that people coming into Australia are infected with COVID-19. We've got to be really stringent with our measures.

LISA MILLAR:

Yeah. And just finally, we got six weeks to try to get it under control here in Melbourne. What's your sense? Seeing the numbers, seeing what's been put in place, how successful might it be?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Look, I expect this is going to be very successful. We have to remember that the figures that we're seeing today reflect infections that occurred a week or two ago. So it may be a week or two before we start to see the number of infections start to fall. We've already had the masks requirement in Victoria, in Melbourne and that's starting to have an impact as well. But I'm very sure that we're going to see significant reductions in numbers as a result of the restrictions of movement around Melbourne that we're seeing right now.

LISA MILLAR:

Yeah, well we certainly hope so. Michael Kidd, thanks for joining us.

MICHAEL KIDD:

Thank you.

Contact

Departmental media enquiries

Contact for members of the media

news [at] health.gov.au (subject: Media%20enquiry%20-%20News%20item%20ID13810, body: URL - https%3A%2F%2Fwww.health.gov.au%2Fnews%2Fdeputy-chief-medical-officer-interview-on-abc-news-breakfast-on-5-august-2020)

View contact