World news – Brisbane Lockdown « Won’t Solve The Problem »

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A leading Australian infectious disease expert criticized Greater Brisbane’s three-day lockdown, saying it was an « unreasonable » overreaction that « won’t solve the problem ».

The 2.2 million inhabitants of the city have been under strict conditions for staying at home since Friday, 6 p.m. It will be announced on Monday morning whether the restrictions will ease later in the day.

The measures came after a hotel quarantine worker contracted the highly contagious UK variant of COVID-19 and unknowingly spent five days in the community.

Australian National University professor Peter Collignon told 2GB on Monday that the lockdown suggests authorities don’t believe in the contact tracing.

« This is an isolated incident and I don’t think anyone in the world has ever done this before (three-day lockdown), » he said.

« Three days doesn’t solve the problem because the average incubation time is five days. You really have to wait, people have to isolate 10-14 days, even 28 days for two full incubations.

The strain that Queensland authorities fear circulating in the community is at least 70 percent more contagious than previous variants of the virus. However, Professor Collignon said it had not « spread » « significantly » in many other countries.

« It’s in 30 or 40 countries, but in many of them it hasn’t become the predominant burden, » he said.

Professor Collignon said the recent Sydney and Melbourne outbreaks had highlighted how it was possible to get the virus under control without restricting people.

« I think if you have faith in the system you can do it … We got rid of most of the virus, » he said.

« The Avalon Cluster … appears to have been brought under control and it will go away … I suspect Berala will go too. »

He said that while it was admirable that Australia was seeking elimination, it was unlikely that it would ever really happen unless the country was ready to become a « hermit nation ».

« The problem I have with the elimination is that people get complacent … it’s inevitable that we will have leaks, » he said.

« That’s the reality, we just have to lower the odds, but you have to accept that you might get it.

« I don’t think it’s wise to lock our cities every time we get a case. »

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© Sunshine Coast Newspaper Company Pty Ltd 2021. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited under the laws of Australia and international treaties.

Ref: https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au

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