Months until coronavirus measures lifted


HEALTH authorities want the coronavirus infection curve moving down before they consider relaxing draconian social restrictions, according to deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly.

Professor Kelly said despite early positive signs border closures and social measures were "starting to bite" and the curve was flattening, "it will be months before we get past this epidemic".

"This is not a time to take the foot off the brake," he said.

"We really need to redouble our efforts to work as a society to make sure we are doing everything we can to slow the spread of the virus."

He acknowledged severe restrictions were crimping every aspect of life in Australia but devising an exit strategy would be a "tricky decision".

"Obviously we want to see the curve not only flattening but starting to bend downwards, and then making that decision about when to take the foot off the brake will be very difficult," he said.

"Do you take some of the measures off, do you take all of the measures off in places where there are no cases over a period?"

He also revealed authorities were preparing to release more detailed information about modelling and epidemiology and how it was driving decision making.

"We need to be more transparent, and we will be," he said.

He also urged everyone in the community to show their "true colours" and help people in their 70s who have been advised to self isolate.

"This is a time for you who have elderly relatives … to ask what is it that they need?" he said.

"What other things are going to impact their lives with these new restrictions, particularly around shopping, picking up scripts for their medication, what can you do for your elderly family members?"

"For those who have elderly people living close to them, this is a time to ask them not to be pushy but to ask them what it is that we can do to support them in a safe way?"


Originally published as Months until coronavirus measures lifted