Dr Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens health spokesperson, is today calling on the Prime Minister to adopt an elimination strategy for COVID-19 to keep restrictions in place until the rate of community transmission reaches zero.
"It's now time to commit to eliminating COVID-19 from the community, and give Australians some level of certainty in the face of this pandemic."
"We have already eliminated the virus in some states, which has allowed people to resume doing many of the things they love and provided some certainty for the business community," said Dr Di Natale.
"The current suppression approach means allowing restrictions to loosen while there's still virus circulating in the community. This is likely to involve a continuing cycle of see-sawing lockdowns as outbreaks pop up across the country, which means ongoing economic disruption and uncertainty.
"Here in Victoria, we have seen how quickly a handful of cases can turn into a second wave with devastating consequences for our community. Making our goal in Victoria elimination of the virus while we are already in a second lockdown will likely mean extending restrictions beyond six weeks. However, it's a small price to pay if it means avoiding more lockdowns in the future and giving the business community some certainty."
Key experts, including former secretary of the federal Department of Health and Director of the Health Program at the Grattan Institute Stephen Duckett, Professor Bill Bowtell and many others, are calling for governments to commit to an elimination approach. This would require restrictions to remain in place until the level of community transmission reaches zero and stays there.
"The current uncertainty in the community about the possibility of future lockdowns is bad for the community and bad for the economy. A clear roadmap towards the elimination of the virus in Australia would provide certainty for both people and the economy."