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

NATALIE BARR:

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd joins me from Canberra now. Morning to you. Melbourne has had more than three weeks of the Stage 3 lockdown and coronavirus cases have continued to rise. Will Stage 4 restrictions stop community transmission?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Look, that, of course, is the aim of the Stage 4 restrictions, Nat, is to bring down the level of community transmission that we've seen over recent weeks in Victoria. The continuing upward trend in cases that has happened over the last few weeks has meant that we've seen more and more people getting infected and more and more people, of course, becoming seriously unwell. So these additional measures announced by the Premier yesterday have the support of the AHPPC and is what is necessary to bring this outbreak under control.

NATALIE BARR:

Yeah. So you think they'll work?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Look, absolutely. What we know from the experience of past pandemics and of what's happened around the world is that the only way that we can bring community transmission under control is to prevent people from moving around and reduce the interactions between individuals, to stop the potential of the virus to be transferred from one person to another. Clearly, the restrictions which were announced yesterday are much more- much harsher than the restrictions we've seen previously in Australia. But this is what is necessary in order to bring this under control.

NATALIE BARR:

There are more than 6000 active cases in Victoria now; how can these people prevent the virus spreading from- to other people that are in their family unit, people that they love that they're allowed to see?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Absolutely. So it's essential firstly that everyone who was told that they have been infected with COVID-19 stays at home in isolation. You must not leave your home for any reason. You are in home isolation until you are told that it is safe for you to leave home by the authorities in your state.

Concerns, of course, about what happens if you have someone in your household who is diagnosed with COVID-19. Ideally, that person will be in their own room and will be staying as much as possible in their own room. Where possible, that person should be using a bathroom which is not shared with other people, where that is not possible, the bathroom needs a thorough clean after the person with COVID-19 has used the bathroom each time.

If they do have to come out into the rest of the household, they should be wearing a mask each time and it may be wise for the other people in the home to wear a mask as well. Clearly, there's a concern if there's someone in your household who is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19; an elderly family member, someone who is immunocompromised.

So please, when you are contacted by the health authorities, told that you are positive for COVID-19, you have to stay in isolation. Please talk to them about the circumstances in your own household and they will assist you in making sure that everybody is protected.

NATALIE BARR:

Let's go to New South Wales. The state is recording less than 20 cases a day. The Premier is recommending them in places you can't social distance. What do you say?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Sorry, recommending the masks?

NATALIE BARR:

Masks.

MICHAEL KIDD:

When you can't social distance?

NATALIE BARR:

Yep.

MICHAEL KIDD:

Yep. Absolutely. So this is fully supported by the AHPPC. Where we have community transmission, when people leave their homes particular if you're going into an area where you cannot have physical distancing. For example, at the supermarket or on public transport. It is advisable for people to consider wearing masks. So- and particularly if you are a person who is at an increased risk of COVID-19, please wear a mask when you're in those areas of community transmission, when you're outside your home, in places where there are other people.

NATALIE BARR:

Thank you very much, Michael Kidd.

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