Date published: 
10 August 2020
Media event date: 
9 August 2020
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

LISA WILKINSON:

Well, Dr Nick Coatsworth is the country's Deputy Chief Medical Officer. Doc, you sent out a warning on this yesterday. How much of a threat is it having people moving around from venue to venue?

NICK COATSWORTH:

Well, I think it is, Lisa, a threat. I mean, the virus doesn't move. It moves with people, and when we've got such a precarious situation in New South Wales, we really got to consider whether we have to go to more than one venue a night. I mean, you know, eight, five - we all went on big pub crawls, and people will go on pub crawls again. But I think it's pretty clear in NSW that it's not the time.

LISA WILKINSON:

Well, at the moment you have to sign in, you've got to get one of those COVID passes. Should pubs and venues start cross-checking with each other to make sure that they're not having somebody walk through the door who's been to three other venues that night?

NICK COATSWORTH:

Well, that is not as impossible as it seems, and there are some nations that have got some very interesting technologies out there. In South Korea you have to scan your smartphone with a QR code, so there are actually ways to regulate how many people are travelling from venue to venue. And, you know, it's not something that we're deeply considering at the moment, but there are options if this continues to be a problem.

PETER VAN ONSELEN:

It's been the deadliest day so far in this pandemic. Do you think that it's going to get worse before it starts to get better?

NICK COATSWORTH:

The sad reality is with the number of our Australians in residential aged care facilities down in Victoria, there could be days like this again. There really could. This is a virus that we know affects the elderly in such a severe way. So, the important thing is that through the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre and all the immense amount of work that's going on down there to stabilise the situation in aged care, that is the priority, and that is likely to be the biggest intervention that controls the number of people dying of COVID-19. The second biggest, of course, is the Stage 4 restrictions, which are actually going to bring the community- numbers of community cases down, and of course, if we get the epidemic under control, then the number of people losing their lives will fall.

TOMMY LITTLE:

Hey Doc, we've seen another NRL player be fined and stood down for a COVID-19 breach. Is that frustrating for you to see when someone who is clearly a role model for such a large portion of the population behaving like that?

NICK COATSWORTH:

Well, I think what we see is that the majority of NRL players, AFL players, sporting stars are great role models. They're showing us how things are done, and it's unfortunate that there's these occasional high-profile situations where people aren't doing the right thing. I think we should, at the same time as acknowledge that that's not the right thing to do, applaud the NRL, the AFL, and the other sporting codes and their players for when they do the right thing, and that is the vast majority of the time.

LISA WILKINSON:

Dr Nick Coatsworth, as always, appreciate you making time for us.

NICK COATSWORTH:

Thanks, Lisa.

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