One of Australia’s top doctors has slammed ‘overcautious’ modelling that could keep long suffering Melburnians in lockdown until November.
The roadmap predicts Melburnians to be released from their sixth lockdown on October 26, when Victoria is predicted to hit 70 per cent double vaccination.
New modelling from the Burnet Institute has predicted Victoria could record up to 3,000 cases a day within weeks.
Former federal deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth welcomed the state’s plan but blasted the Burnet modelling which informed the roadmap.
Melburnians (pictured on Sunday) are expected to remain in lockdown for at least at another month
‘There’s a case to be made the modelling is a little bit overcautious, a little bit overrepresenting the likely impact on the Victorian health system,’ Dr Coatsworth told the Today show on Monday.
Victoria’s cases will peak at between 1400 and 2900 per day between October 19 and 31, according to Burnet modelling.
This could lead to between 1200 and 2500 people being hospitalised with Covid, with up to 550 people in ICU.
Once Victoria passes 80 per cent full vaccine coverage there could be “a second epidemic peak in mid-December” and demand for hospital beds may exceed availability, the report said.
But Dr Coatsworth doesn’t believe in the bleak doom and gloom predicted for Victoria as the state recorded 567 new cases and another death on Monday.
‘When you look at most models around the world – and we have real-life examples of this in the United Kingdom – where you get the models, they show a certain picture which is doom and gloom and the reality is substantially less,’ he continued.
‘We have a real-life example of that in NSW, where the Burnet Institute predicted far worse than is going on in NSW at the moment.’
Dr Nick Coatsworth (pictured) has blasted the Burnet Institute modelling that informed Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown
He added Victoria has the advantage of seeing what happens when lockdowns are lifted in NSW first before the state reopens and can adjust their eased restirctions accordingly.
‘I am sure the chief health officer and Premier there are not just looking at the modelling, they are looking at what’s going on in real life in NSW and hopefully that will show a pretty optimistic spring and summer for NSW and the rest of Australia,’ he said.
‘But I do think that we need to look at outdoors as the main place where we can lift as many restrictions as safely as possible.’
Dr Coatsworth reiterated his views there’s no real risk of Covid-19 spreading outdoors as hundreds of Sydneysiders returned to the beach on the weekend as public outdoor pools prepare to reopen next week.
‘I do think it’s about being safe when you’re actually trying to get to the beach or the pool and not going there if you have symptoms, getting tested. This sort of thing needs to continue,’ he said.
‘We need to look at outdoors as the main place where we can lift as many restrictions as safely as possible,’ Dr Coatsworth said. Pictured are Melburnians enjoying the outdoors
‘It’s not about sort of going down and having a party on Bondi Beach with all of your mates and having very large groups there.
‘It’s about getting out and being able to enjoy yourself for your mental health and yourself for your mental health and your physical health as well.’
‘The risk of transmission is so low outdoors so if you’re not in a very large and close-together group you are really not going to get Covid.’
Melbourne remains in strict lockdown and has been since the start of August – as it nears an unpopular world record.
Buenos Aires, in Argentina, currently holds the record after the city endured 234 days under lockdown. Melbourne – which has gone through six lockdowns – is expected to hit 235 days on Thursday.
Dr Nick Coatsworth has no problems with scenes of packed beaches in Sydney (pictured Coogee)
Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown
When the state hits 70 per cent double vaccination on October 26:
*No restrictions on leaving home and 9pm-5am curfew scrapped with the travel limit increased to 25km
*Masks will remain mandatory both indoors and outdoors
*Year 12 students will return to the classroom from the first week of October
*Kindergarten to Year 2 will then return to school followed by all remaining years which are due to be back by the end of the month
*Early childcare to reopen for children of fully vaccinated parents
*General retail will reopen for outdoor service only with click and collect services to remain available
*Hair salons will reopen for the fully-vaccinated with a limit on five patrons
*Hospitality will reopen for seated and outdoor service only for fully-vaccinated patrons and a capacity limit of 50
*Fully-vaccinated groups can gather outdoors in groups of ten while unvaccinated groups will be capped at five
*Entertainment venues will be reopened for 50 fully vaccinated people for outdoor services only
*Groups of 50 fully vaccinated or 10 unvaccinated people will be able to attend outdoor weddings
Groups of 50 fully vaccinated or 20 unvaccinated people will be able to attend outdoor funerals
When the state hits 80 per cent double vaccination on November 5:
*Ten people including dependents will be allowed inside homes with masks only to be required while indoors
*Pubs, restaurants and cafes can open for seated service only, with a cap of 150 fully vaccinated people inside and 500 outdoors
*Indoor dining will also be capped at 150 people while 30 people will be permitted to gather outside
*Gyms will reopen to the fully vaccinated with indoor community sport to be permitted for the minimum number required
*Victorians will still be asked to work from home if possible but will be allowed to travel to work if they are fully-vaccinated
*Hair salons, beauty and personal care services will be available to the double-jabbed and all retail stores can reopen
*Early childcare education will reopen with all students to return to school with additional safety measures in place
*Weddings, funerals and religious services will return for 150 double-dosed guests indoors and 500 outdoors
Source: Daily Mail UK