Date published: 
25 May 2020
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

NATALIE BARR:

There have been just three new coronavirus cases [EDIT: six new cases] in Australia in the past 24 hours, with a total of 33 people recovering in hospital. For more, I'm joined by Deputy Chief Medical Officer Doctor Nick Coatsworth.

Morning to you. Are you confident Australia finally has coronavirus under control? Or do you think there could be asymptomatic people spreading this in the community?

NICK COATSWORTH:

I think we can be very confident with the numbers. We've talked about flattening the curve, there are single digit cases as you said, Nat, in the past 24 hours, which means that we are in a position to do, as we've just heard about, to get schools back, to steadily increase the number of people on public transport. The asymptomatic carrier has been a concern for this whole epidemic, but that just emphasises the importance of excellent hand hygiene, keeping the distance where you can, and of course, downloading the app so that we can help those disease detectives if we do per chance come in touch with someone who's had COVID-19.

NATALIE BARR:

Beauty salons will reopen in New South Wales and Victoria from the 1st June. The advice, though, is to keep that 1.5 metres from others. How are salons going to do that when they reopen? Isn't that going to be incredibly difficult?

NICK COATSWORTH:

There are a variety of businesses, including beauty salons, that are going to have to make COVID safe adaptations, and we certainly don't suggest that some of those are going to be easy adaptations to make, particularly when you consider the proximity of clients in some of those scenarios. But there are creative ways to do that, making sure people actually put their name down as well so they can be contact traced if there is a case of COVID-19, of course, having the app on the phone. But all businesses around Australia will need to make those COVID safe adaptations for 2020.

NATALIE BARR:

Gyms are opening in Victoria in another week, no word in the other states, particularly New South Wales. What is your view on that?

NICK COATSWORTH:

Well my view is simply if you are an avid gym goer, and in your state and territory the gyms are open, please stay at home if you are at all unwell. That is critically important. There are high touch points in gyms, of course, and I'm sure the gymnasiums themselves will be making sure the appropriate sanitiser and sanitary wipes are there to keep people as safe as possible. But equally, with cases only in single digits on a daily basis now, Nat, I think that we need to start doing the other things that make us healthy, like getting back into our sport and getting the gyms open.

NATALIE BARR:

Okay, thank you very much, Dr Nick Coatsworth.

Contact

Departmental media enquiries

Contact for members of the media

news [at] health.gov.au (subject: Media%20enquiry%20-%20News%20item%20ID11984, body: URL - https%3A%2F%2Fwww.health.gov.au%2Fnews%2Fdeputy-chief-medical-officer-interview-on-channel-7-sunrise-on-25-may-2020)

View contact