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'Gobsmacked' health experts accuse NSW of playing politics over COVID outbreak

'Gobsmacked' health experts accuse NSW of playing politics over COVID outbreak

30/07/2021 11:35:00 PM

'Gobsmacked' health experts accuse NSW of playing politics over COVID outbreak

Health experts say a uniform response to COVID-19 outbreaks across Australia is 'critical' to protecting the nation, and that some states — including New South Wales — are allowing 'political factors' to influence their decisions on lockdowns.

Print text onlyPrintCancelHealth experts say Australia's states should have a uniform response to dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks and are accusing some jurisdictions — including New South Wales — of prioritising politics over health.Key points:Experts want a national code of practice and standardised approach to outbreaks and quarantine

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Epidemiologist Michael Toole says the states' differing pandemic responses has been confusingAMA vice president Chris Moy says political factors have influenced NSW's outbreak strategySince the pandemic began, state and territory leaders have called lockdowns at different stages of outbreaks and with varying rules, restrictions and definitions of essential work.

While it has caused some tension among leaders, Australian Medical Association (AMA) vice-president Chris Moy said that was not the case in the early days of the pandemic, when the states were mostly united and acted on the advice of their chief health officer and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

But Dr Moy said over time that framework had "broken down" and Australian jurisdictions were now responding to COVID-19 outbreaks separately and with varying levels of political interference."We've been bewildered and gobsmacked by the response in NSW, which has been clearly two or three steps behind in terms of reducing restrictions to allow their contact tracers to catch up," he said.

"Ultimately, there have been other factors at play, including political factors almost certainly."The decision-makers have never pulled the levers hard enough … and now it's got away from them."During daily media conferences, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has defended her handling of the Delta outbreak, saying she always acted on the health advice available.

VIctorians have been restricted to exercising within 5km of home during their latest lcockdown.(AAP: Daniel Pockett)Of the states locked down in July, masks were mandated outdoors in some jurisdictions and not others.Victorians could exercise within 5 kilometres of their home, South Australians were limited to 2.5km while most Sydneysiders could travel up to 10km.

But since Friday, residents in the eight Sydney local government areas of concern — Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Blacktown Parramatta, Campbelltown, Georges River — have been restricted to exercising and shopping within a 5km radius.

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AMA deputy president Chris Moy says Sydney's outbreak has "got away" from NSW authorities.(ABC News: Claire Campbell)Epidemiologist and Professor of International Health at the Burnet Institute, Michael Toole, said the differing pandemic responses of various states was confusing and problematic.

"I doubt if any chief health officer in Australia really has a different view to how to respond," he said."But they are operating in very different political contexts."I think that's particularly striking in NSW."Professor Toole said the response in Greater Sydney had not been adequate in "limiting movement or limiting people mingling" and it was "critical" Australia developed a national code of practice and standardised its approach to quarantine and outbreaks.

"It should be quite a detailed plan covering all the interventions. What kind of social distancing, limits on how far people can travel, masks — should they be both outdoors and indoors — what is an essential service, and should all non-essential retail close," he said.

Professor Toole said the benefit of such a predictable response would provide certainty."That would be good for business, [they] would know, OK, we've got two cases today, five the next day, we go into lockdown."We wouldn't be in this situation we're in today if the NSW quarantine system had been effective — it wasn't — and that's led to a public health emergency in Sydney and that's spilt over to many other states."

He called on the federal government to use its authority to unite the states and territories.NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian continues to defend her state's response to the pandemic.(AAP: Lisa Maree Williams)Dr Moy said a national approach would require states and territories to relinquish constitutional powers, which would be hard to achieve.

But he said without unity — and a national centre for disease control — Australia was losing its fight against COVID-19."It would be able to have cross-jurisdictional powers so you can have standardisation of response," he said."Or better still, the response can be dictated with the whole national perspective considered.

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"So there's much less chance for political influence in decision making."It's not just differences in responses, it's also double-handling all the time. Each state is building the same thing twice."Dr Moy said it was shocking Australia did not yet have a centre for disease control which would research and analyse real-time data around the world and then provide practical advice for Australian leaders.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.WatchDuration: 2 minutes 43 seconds243sAustralia won't be able to live with COVID-19 until 80 per cent of the population is vaccinated. Read more: ABC News »

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FINALLY! Someone talking sense and taking a national response. This assumes the medical profession “knows” the best approach. They don’t even “know” all there is to know within their supposed area of expertise: ex A Az farcical variable advice Well, duh! Who hasn't realized it hasn't been politically influenced, with the worst response from a Liberal State govnt! thanksScuMo

Lol.. AMA, which didn't want pharmacists in the vaccine rollout, and that Toole fellow. Every state has done this... It is not unique to NSW. More ABC love for doomsday and helping ALP premiers Canberra is too,,,Como is all about vaxx number as there is an election coming up, as for albasleazy I wouldn’t vote for him either, maybe Pauline Hanson

Lets not play politics and have a national approach as long as its OUR way. StayAtHome approach was rolled out to GreaterSydney but there is stark contrast in NSW with highest Covid infections mainly in Labor held seats. Why arent Labor members urging constituents adhere to rules A uniform response can't be spearheaded by Morrison or his lackeys since they were clearly in the camp of go soft. Prioritising optics over public safety, criticising other states for proper responses to a deadly pandemic, and of course their role in the vaccine rollout debacle

NSW had been playing politics from day 1. Do you remember when there was a shortage of masks and the idiot that came out and said you don’t need masks, and you cold do more harm than good. And they even through that early on in COVID training modules early on. DikcHeads! differing pandemic responses of various states was confusing and problematic.

NSW records highest number of COVID cases since pandemic startedNew South Wales has broken its record of daily coronavirus cases with 239 new infections on Thursday - marking the highest tally since the pandemic begun. How may flu cases since the start of winter? Obviously it’s Dan Andrews fault.

over time that framework had 'broken down' and Australian jurisdictions were now responding to COVID-19 outbreaks separately Premiers are becoming more arrogant yelling like dogs Barking new laws new restriction Americans wont put up so much crap The Politic in this entire situation starts with the Media especially the Biased ABC News. All State Premiers are hunting popularity and ego trips. Not one of any are Promoting 'We Are All In This Together ' So much Hypocrisy and pub/bar politics all round.

Politicised mainly by this guy and his cronies... Agree with AMA: “But he said without unity — and a national centre for disease control — Australia was losing its fight against COVID-19.” In times of pandemic, Australia should have just one, national policy on how to deal the situation, act as one nation, in solidarity

7 leaders are smashing COVID. 2 leaders are failing spectacularly. Do we think handing full responsibility of COVID to Fed Gov is wise given their history of lies, corruption and sheer f**kery of crises? Should Fed Gov take control of COVID?Yes! Will they do a good job? HELL NO! Covid19NSW Citizens are gobsmacked too. It's a textbook case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Ambiguous, arrogant, audacious…you could go through the whole alphabet describing the wag the dog politics on display in NSW. Everything to see there, another part of the ‘black and white failure’. SylviaAPetter The free world is gobsmacked at former democracy Australia treatment of strandedAussies. Millions arbitrarily detained indefinitely. Thousands exiled to die. failedState Stalin

Unlike Dan Andrews (whom the ABC must sponsor)… defund the ABC Could not agree more with this. We need a united, scientific approach to this. Stop the stupid bickering and instead work together. State borders are simply imaginary lines that a virus will never recognise. Much more will be achieved by working together.

NSW Police requests ADF support for Sydney COVID-19 complianceThe NSW Police Force has asked for the Australian Defence Force&x27;s help in enforcing COVID-19 compliance, as locked-down Sydneysiders continue to flout restrictions. So our dumb guys got the baby killers to help them People keep asking: why lockdowns haven’t worked in Western Sydney yet? the answer is simple Adha. July 20th The 8 LGA experiencing ballooning cases have a high concentration of the Islamic community that is very vaccine hesitant & are know to flaunt the rules Send in the army!!! Martial law?

Politics over health - They suddenly realised this just now? The accusation of 'playing with politics' is a common method of playing with politics. LiberalAus AustralianLabor NON SPOTS (Covid19 free) Locations with perimeter control to stop any contagious people. Plus follow all current rules including distancing and cleaning rules. May include from fast testing to certified records of testing & vaccination.

Covid in NSW is the best thing for Australia. The sooner this zero covid fantasy ends, the better I’m still gobsmacked by how many ppl died in Victoria. But hey, let’s get some more biased AMA folk to tell us what they think ABC, the same folk who held up letting pharmacies administer the vaccine. Politics and public health. Oil and water. It's bleak.

NSW..........the look after your donation state? “... Of the 964,920 doses available to NSW to week 25, the state had ordered 164,020 doses. Victoria has ordered 77 per cent, or 664,480 doses, of the AstraZeneca allotted to the state.” ‘He called on the federal government to use its authority to unite the states and territories.’ FAT CHANCE of that under this federal government covid shambles! So what’s plan B?

NSW simply following the ScoMo narrative.

How many active COVID cases are there in your NSW suburb?Search your postcode to see how many active COVID cases there are in your suburb and track how the situation has changed over the last 14 days. What map?

How did we go from the WHO telling the world there was nothing to worry about to our health 'experts' demanding everyone get a vaccine. Who are these experts? I thought WHO were the experts. Oh wow what a shock. That this pandemic has been used as a political point scoring. Last year Qld was saying we cant open our border to NSW till they have 28 days straight of no community transmission. Yet after the state election. 'We opening up to NSW. We are watching to see'

Some construction sites are restarting under strict rules Oh well , a bit behind the times , territory leaders are doing that with internal boundary lines With Australians health at stake Pretty sure the NSW CHO did not advocate shutting down construction sites which was the back tracked. GladysB has managed this mess so far - she carries the bag alone

100 percent but that's all she knows

Fresh concern at COVID in wastewater just as NSW region emerges from lockdownCentral West communities, hours out of a week-long lockdown and with no new cases, are hearing that virus fragments are being detected in local sewage.

NSW records 239 new COVID-19 cases, new mask rules for high-risk LGAsNSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has admitted "things are likely to get worse before they get better". Just wondering when the NSW government is going to realise that locking LGA's doesn't work. Lock down the whole state before the infection spreads to thousands. So lock downs not working Wait for tomorrow, it’s ground hog day😎

‘Things are likely to get worse’: NSW records 239 new COVID-19 casesNSW has recorded 239 new local COVID-19 cases, the state's highest total since the pandemic began. There are also new restrictions for those in Sydney's LGAs of concern | marywardy marywardy Absolutely hopeless. marywardy If the gov is pushing astra it needs to take responsibility for deaths that could occur. Then we will take it. Untill then... No. I'll wait for pfiser. marywardy Just mandate 5km for all and masks outside everywhere for all - far out