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The Sydney test: Why Melbourne is ‘watching closely’ as NSW COVID-19 outbreak worsens

Neil Mitchell
Article image for The Sydney test: Why Melbourne is ‘watching closely’ as NSW COVID-19 outbreak worsens

With Sydney fighting a COVID-19 outbreak on a scale which would likely have seen a lockdown if it were in Victoria, Melburnians are watching on closely as the situation unfolds.

There were 18 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 recorded in NSW yesterday.

But restrictions in Sydney are still quite relaxed, with some visitors still permitted in homes, and all hospitality and retail still open.

Neil Mitchell says Victoria is “watching Sydney very closely”.

“With the number of cases they’ve got at the moment we would certainly be in lockdown,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“If Sydney, God willing, gets on top of it, perhaps it’s a sign it can be done in Victoria without the lockdown.

“If Sydney can’t and is forced into lockdown, well I think the Victorian officials will see that as justification for quick and drastic lockdowns.”

Professorial fellow in epidemiology at Melbourne University, Tony Blakely, says he thinks there’s “less than a 50/50 chance now that they can get through this without a lockdown”.

“Am I confident that they’ll get rid of this without a lockdown? No,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“The longer they keep going for this possibility that they can do it without a lockdown, if they then need to put a lockdown into place it will be a longer and harder lockdown to get through it.

“Each day you delay a lockdown the rule of thumb is you’ve got two extra days in it when you go for it.

“I would be surprised if there’s not stronger measures by the end of today, whether they actually call it a lockdown or not.”

Press PLAY below to hear what Professor Blakely thinks of the unfolding COVID-19 situation in Sydney

Neil Mitchell
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