Currently our political leaders are all telling us that they are “listening to the medical advice” before making decisions on lockdowns. But in the end the decision they make is a political one.
If John Howard had sought military advice before committing to sending troops to Afghanistan they would have told him to look at the Russian experience in that country and our role in the Vietnam war. No, Howard made a political decision, which like the earlier decision on Vietnam did not achieve its objectives.
So now to the political decisions around Sydney’s current lockdown.
The NSW Premier has stated that the Sydney lockdown will continue until cases “walking around in the community” are at or close to zero
According to Prof. Brendan Crabb, of the Burnet Institute, the NSW Government has a choice between keeping the current restrictions in place and risking the lockdown lasting until Christmas, or imposing harsher lockdowns to get it under control within four to six weeks.
NORMAN SWAN: Professor Brendon Crabb has given 7.30 access to new modelling which uses data from the Victorian second wave to predict the effects of a Delta outbreak similar to the one in New South Wales with its enhanced contact tracing capacity.
PROF. BRENDAN CRABB: We’re going to need tougher restrictions, something more akin to stage four in Victoria, to get this back to zero within a reasonable time frame.
NORMAN SWAN: His modelling shows that while current stage three restrictions will work, they’ll take many months, possibly all the way to Christmas.
BRENDAN CRABB: Clearly Sydney at the moment is still in a growth phase. With these new stage three-like restrictions that came in last Friday, we think that this will go into decline, but it will go into decline very, very slowly.
NORMAN SWAN: But Professor Crabb says that adopting the same restrictions as Victoria did during stage four lockdown, such as a better definition of essential workers and essential retail and more limited travel, could drastically reduce that time.
BRENDAN CRABB: The good news is that what’s happening now is working. What’s happening if increased restrictions were adopted and adopted soon, would crush this.
Stage four restrictions will deliver this reduction to less than five cases per day on a rolling average within a four-to-six-week time frame.https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/could-sydney%E2%80%99s-lockdown-go-through-to-august-and/13442076
The NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, was asked about this advice at this morning’s press conference and dismissed the idea – so based on that political decision I guess we can expect to be locked down until Christmas.
At this morning’s presser Premier Berejiklian said she will confirm in the coming days if the lockdown will be extended.
Don’t hold your breath Sydney.
Photo of NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian by Dan Himbrechts/AAP