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

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Well the number of active COVID-19 cases across Victoria seems to be in free fall, but with another 23 lives lost yesterday, it's hard to tell if the battle is actually over.

ALLISON LANGDON:

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd joins us now with the latest. Thanks for your time this morning. Case numbers dropping significantly, but Victoria's fast approaching a grim milestone, soon expected to pass 500 deaths. How can people feel that we are getting on top of this?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Yes. Look, clearly, we are seeing the daily number of cases come down and they have come down dramatically over the last couple of weeks from the 700s, now to the low 100s, but as you point out, very tragically, we're still seeing lives lost very sadly. And this is the tragedy of COVID-19, that when we do have very high numbers of cases, two or three weeks later, we are going to see significant numbers of deaths each day.

Hopefully, that number of deaths is going to fall over the coming few days as well and hopefully, we'll also continue to see the daily number of cases fall as a consequence of the Stage 4 restrictions.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

How do you see the next couple of weeks panning out? I know it's difficult to say, but we had the Melbourne Lord Mayor on the show a little while ago talking about how catastrophic this is for small businesses and the mental anguish that is producing. How do you see it unfolding in the next couple of weeks and are we any closer to things opening up?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Well certainly, the figures are all pointing in the right direction. And so the number of new cases is going down. But it is really important that people don't become complacent, that people who have no matter how mild, still arrange to get tested, that people are adhering to the restrictions which are in place.

If everybody keeps doing their part and I've to say the people of Melbourne and across Victoria have been behaving magnificently in response to the very serious situation there, if people still do their part, then the numbers should continue to come down.

ALLISON LANGDON:

How concerned are you about Sydney at the moment? We've seen the CBD cluster, we've seen a couple of outbreaks on public transport, another two more schools have been shut. Is there reason to be concerned?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Look, we're concerned every time we see an outbreak of COVID-19. In New South Wales, the public health authorities are acting very swiftly each time we get an outbreak, identifying the people who may have been at risk. Those people being in isolation and being tested to try and ensure that we're not getting further transmission occurring.

Of course, where we are most concerned is where we are most concerned is where we don't have an immediate obvious link between one of the existing cases and one of the new cases which occurs because that means that there may be further community transmission occurring undetected out in the wider community.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Not much you can do about that, is there?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Well again, it's up to each individual and our personal responsibility.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Yeah.

MICHAEL KIDD:

So of course, each of us are doing all that we can to prevent ourselves from being infected, but also if we have symptoms, of course, getting tested.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

A nursing home in Sydney's north-west is in lockdown after a case at a nearby sporting ground. We know how quickly this could potentially spiral out of control. Given what's happened in Victoria and in Sydney before that, are we prepared now for another nursing home outbreak?

MICHAEL KIDD:

Look, I think it's wonderful to see a local residential aged care facility acting very swiftly to put in place its COVID-19 plan to ensure that the residents and the staff of that facility are going to be protected and safe if there is an outbreak in that local area. This needs, of course, to happen in every residential aged care facility and every aged care service across the country, when we're starting to see community transmission.

ALLISON LANGDON:

We were just talking there about the concerns you've got with Sydney. What about in south-east Queensland at the moment? We are seeing these cases pop up. The source is unknown.

MICHAEL KIDD:

Yes. So again, that is a cause of concern. Whenever we have a case where we don't know where it came from, we are worried about what is happening elsewhere in the community.

But again, the health authorities in Queensland are acting very swiftly each time we see an outbreak, as we saw with the outbreak in the detention centre and then with the trainer. And so, this is of course doing absolutely everything we can to a stop to the outbreaks and bring the community transmission way down and hopefully, down to zero.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

And come October, do you think we are going to be ready for a full house at the Gabba for the AFL grand final?

MICHAEL KIDD:

I don't think so. I think there'll be lots of people watching at home and enjoying the spectacle.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Interesting stuff. Thank you so much.

ALLISON LANGDON:

Come on, I say call it early and just say yes. [Laughs]

KARL STEFANOVIC:

He didn't deny that it was in Brisbane.

ALLISON LANGDON:

Yeah. No. That's right. We're going to- that's the headline.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

He knows stuff. Alright, thank you, mate.

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