Thursday, 29 October 2020

Epidemiologists echo ACT’s Covid-19 plan


“A group of top epidemiologists has echoed ACT’s call for government to be a referee not a player and to take a risk-proportionate approach on Covid-19,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The group has said we should allow some travellers to isolate at home and move away from a one-size-fits-all approach.

“ACT has been calling for such an approach for months.

“We would recognise the role of government as a referee, not a player, in maximising wellbeing in the face of Covid-19. The role of government should be to set clear rules of the game rather than to be a player itself.

“Isolation is a good example of where the Government has failed to uphold the rules while trying to provide the service itself. While the Government was operating isolation facilities, nobody was responsible for checking dangerously exposed staff were being tested.

“In Taiwan, new arrivals can isolate at alternative facilities. However, they are strictly and electronically monitored. If you breach the rules, you will be severely punished. The Government should be setting the rules for safety and ensuring people meet them rather than trying to do everything itself. It should be focused on enforcing rules that minimise transmission rates so that contact tracing can isolate an outbreak with minimal disruption to people’s overall wellbeing.

“ACT would also recognise that risk varies and manage it accordingly. Taiwan treats different countries – and we should treat different Australian states – with different levels of caution. Similarly, we should manage different types of people differently.

“We need to get Taiwan-smart on Covid-19. The virus isn’t going anywhere and the goal must be to achieve elimination with no more lockdowns.

ACT Covid-19 response plan includes:

• Government as referee, not player: allow arrivals to isolate at alternative facilities, with electronically monitored and strict punishment for rule-breakers
• A risk-weighted response: treat different countries and travellers with different levels of caution.