Date published: 
22 June 2020
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

DAVID KOCH:

Now, Victorians have been warned their state is at a tipping point, with COVID-19 cases climbing dramatically over the weekend. For more, we're joined by Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nick Coatsworth. Nick, good to see you. How precarious is this situation? Is it the start of a second wave? Or a second bump?

NICK COATSWORTH:

Kochie, the situation is of concern, there's no doubt about that. There have been an increase in the number of cases in Victoria but comparatively, still low. I mean, 19 cases in the past 24 hours - the population of course is 6.4 million. So, we're talking about four or five outbreaks in Victoria at the moment, of small numbers, and we've got every confidence having received an update from the Victorian Chief Health Officer yesterday that they'll be brought under control.

NATALIE BARR:

So, school holidays are coming up in the next week or so for a lot of states, should Victoria stop people getting out? Or other states stop people getting in? What should we do?

NICK COATSWORTH:

So Nat, we're going to be living with this virus for the best part of 2020 - maybe even into next year - and school holidays will come and go. So the advice that we've given at this point is that for those local government areas that are affected in Melbourne, and there's six of them, that people in those local government areas defer their travel for the school holidays and people going into those local government areas strongly consider deferring their holiday if they're going to visit friends and family in those areas. But beyond that, the advice is of a general nature - go enjoy your holidays, be careful, socially distance, wash your hands, do all those things.

DAVID KOCH:

Okay. Everywhere else around Australia is basically saying those flaming Victorians, they're putting our recovery at risk. Have they been slack? Or could this happen in any state? We're going to have to get used to it. As you say, 19 out of 6.5 million people is really not much.

NICK COATSWORTH:

Kochie, I do like the way you've put it there in the second half of what you said. It could indeed happen anywhere in Australia; it could have happened anywhere in Australia. The fact that it just happens to be Victoria is absolutely no reflection on their health service or the quality of their public health unit. And we've got to remember, numbers are going up around the world - even hotel quarantine is not a perfect system. So, we can expect outbreaks, we can expect cases - the important thing is that we get them under control as quickly as possible.

DAVID KOCH:

Right.

NATALIE BARR:

Okay. The recent spike has prompted the Government to bring back some of those tough restrictions, like you say. Should AFL games [audio skip] be put on hold? This is our main AFL state.

NICK COATSWORTH:

Yes, it is the main AFL state, Nat, and that single case has provoked a lot of consideration over the past- over the weekend. But, you know, that need to be looked at by the AFL - they will be looking at the case in detail. And we need to remember at this point in time, it's just a single case, so we just need to wait and see how that pans out, I think.

DAVID KOCH:

And by the sound of it, a player who broke the rules. So I think the AFL are going to be a bit tough on that, as they should.

Nick Coatsworth, really appreciate your time.

NICK COATSWORTH:

Thanks Kochie.

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