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The choice an epidemiologist says Melbourne now faces in the battle against COVID

Neil Mitchell
Article image for The choice an epidemiologist says Melbourne now faces in the battle against COVID

An epidemiologist says there’s a “98 per cent probability” Melbourne’s lockdown will not end on Thursday, and the state government has a difficult decision to make.

Professorial fellow in epidemiology at the University of Melbourne, Professor Tony Blakely, says the current lockdown isn’t suppressing cases like the last one did.

“What we’ve got here is a pretty steady state. It’s not a disaster but it’s not turning around,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“Driving through Fitzroy it was extraordinary the number of people congregating outside pubs, outside fast food takeaway, outside cafes.

“Just seeing all the people hanging out in the playgrounds with the kids, these are activates we all want to do, we can’t stay cooped up.

“But with this virus that’s enough to keep this spreading.”

Professor Blakely says there are two possible course of action Melbourne can take: Keep the current restrictions and maintain low levels of COVID-19, and remain in lockdown until October or November when vaccine coverage is higher, or tighten lockdown restrictions and “give it a really good nudge … back to down to zero and try and hold zero for as long as we can”.

“If we’re going to get rid of the virus this time we’re going to need to tighten up a bit,” Professor Blakely said.

Press PLAY below to hear more about the choice Melbourne faces

Neil Mitchell
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