An infectious disease expert has called out the ongoing border closure between Queensland and NSW as a waste of time and that the hard approach may be overdoing it and essentially won’t work.
Australian National University infectious disease expert Peter Collignon told Channel 7’s Sunrise program that the 28-day rule of no local transmission cases wasn’t the best approach, which is what has been enforced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“What may not be a good idea is [the rule requiring] 28 days without cases. Because that’s an elimination strategy,” he said.
“As soon as you go for elimination you’re going to have much harsher restrictions, you’re going to have to have opening and closing of borders.”
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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is standing firm on her border with Greater Sydney. Picture: Liam KidstonSource:News Corp Australia
Premier Gladys Berejiklian will go head-to-head with her Queensland counterpart at National Cabinet today. Picture: Damian Shaw/NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia
Prof Collignon said that Ms Palaszczuk’s strategy of not opening to Greater Sydney until they can successfully pass 28 days without any community transmission of COVID-19 won’t work, and that we can learn exactly why from our neighbours across the ditch.
“New Zealand tried that and had an outbreak, Victoria also tried that and it didn’t work,” he said.
“So I think what has happened is much more realistic: Suppression to really low levels, which is what Sydney and NSW have done.
“I think we have got to be careful about not having too harsh restrictions because when a vaccine comes it’s not going to get to all of us until the end of next year so there is going to be a lot of pain, probably needlessly.”
Currently, Victoria has recorded 14 days straight of no new cases in the 24 hours to Friday morning.
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Infectious Diseases physician and microbiologist Peter Collignon said the 28-day strategy won’t work. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAPSource:AAP
NSW in comparison, has reached five days without a community transmission of COVID-19 to Thursday morning.
Queensland reopened its border with NSW at 1am on November 3, but that excluded all residents from 32 Sydney Local Government Areas identified as hotspots.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been vocal in her criticism of her Queensland counterpart, and is expected to force the issue of opening the border at today’s National Cabinet meeting of the state leaders.
The Queensland/NSW border has been one of the most contentious in the country throughout the pandemic. Picture: Scott PowickSource:News Corp Australia
The NSW Premier has repeatedly complained her Queensland counterpart won’t discuss the increasingly controversial topic.
Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young is reportedly considering allowing Victorians into the Sunshine State from December 1 despite its recent and horrific second wave.
NSW is also looking to allow Victorian travellers in from November 23 but the Queensland Premier said she would continue to deal with the policy at the end of each month rather than weekly, despite new national cases becoming rare.
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