Department of Health - Australian Government

07/08/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/07/2020 17:31

Deputy Chief Medical Officer interview on Channel 7 Sunrise on 8 July 2020

Date published:
8 July 2020
Media type:
General public


Now, millions of Victorians are headed back into lockdown from midnight tonight. The Government has issued stay-at-home orders for the Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell Shire, about 40 kilometres north of the city. The move follows a surge in coronavirus infection numbers and a record high of 191 new cases yesterday across the state, that's a record. At this stage the state will be locked down- the city will be locked down for the next 6 weeks.

And Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd joins us now. Professor, good morning. Victorian authorities are effectively putting a ring around the Melbourne area and the Shire of Mitchell. So, given the new case numbers, was there any other option?


I think this is a totally appropriate response. It has the support of the AHPPC and of course of the federal Government. We do know this is going to be very tough for the people of Melbourne, going back into lockdown after only 8 weeks since the restrictions were lifted. But it is very important I think to remember the lessons that we all learned the first time we were in lockdown, the importance of maintaining social connection even while we're physically distant from the people that we love.


Okay, so are we calling this a second wave in Victoria? And are we headed for a second wave in New South Wales? Because for the last week there has been a mass exodus out of Victoria, up the Hume Highway, into New South Wales.


So, I'm not sure if we're using the terminology, the second wave, but certainly this is a very serious second surge in infections occurring in Victoria. And the response which is being taken is totally appropriate. The borders of course are now closed between Victoria and New South Wales. The Australian Government is supporting both the governments with Australian Defence Force personnel to support maintaining that border closure between the 2 states.


So, are you in Victoria using the COVIDSafe app? Are you still tracing people or is the problem now out of control in this second wave that the COVID app goes out the window in a scenario like this?


No, no, the COVIDSafe app is more important now than ever, and it's really important that as many people as possible in Melbourne download the COVIDSafe app. As Brett Sutton said yesterday, the COVIDSafe app comes into its own, not when you're tracing the people who you know, but when you're tracing the people you don't know - the people who may have been standing beside you on public transport, the people who may have been sitting behind you in a cafe, the people who may have been standing in a queue with you.

So, I urge everybody in Melbourne to seriously consider downloading the COVIDSafe app. It's now available in 5 additional languages, in Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Vietnamese and Korean to expand, hopefully, the number of people who are able to upload the app and put it on their phones.


Okay. Sounds good. Thank you for your time, we really do wish you all the best with this. Michael Kidd, thanks. Here's Kochie.


Thank you.


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