Date published: 
6 July 2020
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

Joining us now is Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, morning to you. These have been described as vertical cruise ships. How worried are you about the spread in those towers?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Yes. Look, we're very concerned about the reports from Melbourne and particularly for the residents of the towers which have been locked down over the weekend. Many of the people in the towers, of course, have been doing the right thing, as people have right across Australia. But the environment that they are living in is such that, obviously, these measures are needed to protect those people, protect their families - many of the people in these residences are vulnerable people themselves.

DAVID KOCH:

Michael, jeez this thing is infectious, isn't it? It is the thing that is striking every Australian at the moment. We need to be vigilant about it and some of the figures are scary. But put it in perspective for us, you know, how well are we doing overall? Yes, we have this outbreak but we seem to be containing it?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Yes, that's right. I mean, look at what's happening outside of Australia. And as we see the first wave of COVID- 19 continuing to move across the world, and especially now tragically, getting into low and middle income countries - the number of new infections going up and up and of course the number of deaths continuing in many parts of the world. But it doesn't mean that we can be complacent in Australia and I think that's what's happening in Melbourne at the moment has come as a bit of a jolt to most people across the country. We thought that perhaps this was behind us, it's not - we're still living with this very infectious and often very dangerous disease.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

So, can you see the rest of Melbourne being locked down? Is that where it's heading? Or are we getting in on top of this in Victoria?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Well clearly, that's going to be a decision for the Premier in Victoria and his chief health officer and other advisers. And the measures which are in place are to aim to prevent that from happening with the very extensive testing we have seen - we now have testing at record numbers across Melbourne over the weekend; the contact tracing, and the Commonwealth has provided an additional 800 people to assist with the contact tracing of all those people who have been infected over the last few days; and then, the decisions which were made around isolating people, and the decision which has been made around these tower blocks in the north- west part of Melbourne.

DAVID KOCH:

Yeah. We've got to be vigilant. Michael Kidd, appreciate your time.

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