Experts Call For Stage Four Lockdown In Victoria To Stop Spread Of Coronavirus
Parts of Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are currently in Stage 3, which means people can only leave their homes for four reasons: work and education, exercise, care and compassionate reasons and essential trips like grocery shopping or a doctors visit.
Those things must be carried out in your local area or you face a fine.
However, a Stage 4 lockdown would shut down all businesses, except for essential ones, to prevent people from leaving their homes even further.
While that might seem harsh, the move has the backing of the president of the Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association.
Associate Professor Julian Rait warns that the rise in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks show the second wave isn't slowing down yet and the state government needs to get on top of it.
Speaking to 3AW Radio, he said: "We saw a few weeks ago on July 17 after we had about 10 days or so of lockdown measures that the epidemic curve really wasn't flattening as it should.
"We felt at that stage we would obviously need to extend the lockdown, we also made the point that a firmer lockdown might be more efficacious but might also provide a shorter way out of this.
More Like This
"What New Zealand did for a month is that they closed pretty much all businesses other than pharmacies, medical clinics, grocery stores, petrol stations and really curtailed a lot of retail shopping and a lot of businesses.
"That's the model that I would look to and clearly they were able to achieve elimination through that with a month of such measures.
"I am not suggesting that is necessarily possible now in Victoria with the number of cases, but I would suggest that stronger measures for a shorter period might be a preferable strategy to months and months of what we have got at the moment."
Yesterday, Victoria recorded the highest single-day increase in coronavirus cases anywhere in Australia since the pandemic began. A whopping 532 cases were recorded as well as six deaths.
While the economic cost to shutting down all non-essential businesses for the foreseeable future would be crippling, it's hard to know how long the state will continue to see triple-figure coronavirus cases.
Most patients will recover from the virus, however there will be many who will wind up in hospital, on ventilators and with life-long conditions.
The Victorian AMA President added: "On July 3 we had 66 cases, July 10 we had 288, July 17 we had 428, July 26 we had 459 and today we have 532. The seven day moving average appears to be rising, although perhaps not as quickly as it did at first.
"If that trend continues I think we have a significant problem and that's why I think we need to consider other options given that so far we are not quite seeing the response we expected."
Featured Image Credit: PA