Deputy Chief Medical Officer interview on Channel 7 Sunrise on 6 May 2020

Read the transcript of Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth's interview on 6 May 2020 on Channel 7 Sunrise about coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Joining me now is Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nick Coatsworth. Nick, good to catch up again. With the, obviously easing of restrictions, we've got to get used to the fact that cases sort of, logically, will rise. Are they going to be in clusters, like at the abattoir? Is that what we have to be careful of?


Kochie, there will be clusters as our mobility as a society increases and it will look very much like we've seen in the meatworks in Victoria, also, the recent cluster in north-west Tasmania. So the important thing is that where those clusters happen, really, the clock is ticking for the disease detectives at that point to get onto those clusters, break the transmission chains and stop transmission within the community getting any further.


Okay. So if outbreaks happen, besides managing them from a tracing perspective, I feel like we're now a bit better equipped to deal with them? We've sort of got more ventilators or we're ready to go a bit more in our hospitals and our doctors and nurses are a bit better prepared.


Well, Sam, that's right. The Australian public has bought us time with their amazing response and so we do have more ventilator capacity. We're managing within existing intensive care capacity, there are 19 Australians who are being supported with ventilators at the moment for COVID-19. The testing capacity is also so important, when you have those clusters and Victoria conducted over 9000 tests on Sunday and New South Wales has a target of 8,000 tests a day. So we urge any Australian, with even the mildest off symptoms to get tested, because that's how we find those clusters, where they remain very small.


Now, I know this is probably a stupid question from me. When you get tested, you get a swab up each nostril and at the back of the throat; why all three when sort of, to a layman, all three holes goes to the same place? If you get my drift.


Absolutely correct. Not even for a layman, Kochie, for a doctor too. They all go to the same spot, but there have been studies- Well you need three because sometimes you get it in the throat, when you don't get it in the nostril, and sometimes vice versa. So, the important thing is not to go nostril first and then throat, I think Kochie. That's the important thing.


Alright, good. Thank you for that Nick.


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