Australia’s prime well being chief has dashed hopes that the rollout of the vaccine will enable individuals to journey abroad this yr, predicting borders will stay closed till 2022.
The person who urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to close the borders final yr has made the grim prediction this morning.
As the primary anniversary of the worldwide border closure approaches on February 1, Well being Division chief Brendan Murphy stated it’s too early to say whether or not borders can reopen this yr.
“I believe that that may be a large query. I believe that the reply might be no,” he instructed ABC TV.
And he concedes the large purpose is that regardless that the vaccination will cease individuals getting the virus, we nonetheless don’t know if it’ll cease them spreading it to others.
“I believe that we’ll go most of this yr with nonetheless substantial border restrictions – even when we now have numerous the inhabitants vaccinated, we don’t know whether or not that may stop transmission of the virus,” Professor Murphy stated.
“And it’s doubtless that quarantine will proceed for a while. One of many issues about this virus is that the rule e-book has been made up as we go.”
Professor Murphy’s prediction is grim information for hundreds of tourism operators at residence, aviation firms and households determined to see family members abroad.
Simply weeks in the past, Qantas reopened bookings for worldwide flights and is now taking bookings for flights throughout its complete worldwide community from July 1, 2021.
It was anticipated flights to Asian locations, together with Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, would additionally resume on July 1.
“We proceed to overview and replace our worldwide schedule in response to the growing COVID-19 state of affairs,” Qantas stated in an announcement to information.com.au.
“Lately we now have aligned the promoting of our worldwide providers to mirror our expectation that worldwide journey will start to restart from July 2021.”
However Professor Murphy’s feedback recommend that’s untimely.
“I used to be very cautious early on and I bear in mind saying this to the Prime Minister – I don’t need to predict greater than two or three months forward. The world is altering. So I believe in the mean time, we’ve obtained this gentle on the finish of the tunnel – the vaccine,” he stated.
“So we’re going to go as safely and as quick as we will to get our inhabitants vaccinated after which we’ll have a look at what occurs.”
Professor Murphy stated closing the borders was in all probability his most momentous choice because the nation’s chief medical officer all through the pandemic. He now serves because the Well being Division chief working the division.
“That was in all probability essentially the most momentous day of my time. It was February 1,” he stated.
“I bear in mind, I used to be really in Melbourne on that day visiting household. And I regarded on the information, noticed the state of affairs in China and phoned Minister Hunt and phoned the Prime Minister and had a sequence of conferences that day. And the borders had been closed at 9pm that night time. Which is a unprecedented factor. And I believe that our border measures, looking back, have been one of many the reason why we now have by no means actually had important neighborhood transmission, aside from that second wave in Victoria.”
Professor Murphy additionally revealed the Morrison Authorities was “not intimately concerned” within the COVID-19 crisis engulfing the Australian Open describing it as a “Victorian public well being choice”.
“I believe that they take the dangers very severely. It’s terribly unhealthy luck that they’ve had the positives on three flights, and I believe that they’ve carried out numerous preparation,” he stated.
“Very unfortunate, however as we all know, the virus is unfortunately working uncontrolled in lots of nations abroad.”
Requested if there have been any choices he regrets throughout his time because the nation’s chief medical officer, Professor Murphy stated he would have gone more durable on masks earlier.
“I believe that no person is ideal. I believe that our response has been fairly good,” he stated.
“I believe if we’d identified we had been going to get a second wave in Victoria, we’ve typically mirrored on what else we’d have been capable of do within the aged care preparation.
“I believe we in all probability didn’t know the way worthwhile masks had been early on within the piece. And perhaps they might have been launched somewhat bit earlier. However on the entire, I believe that we did fairly properly.”
Professor Murphy additionally performed down the disturbing stories in Norway of a small variety of seniors dying after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 jab.
“Look, I’m not unduly involved. We’re attempting to get extra details about it,” he stated.
“This group of people that had the jab, and sadly some died, had been very, very previous and frail. It’s not clear whether or not the vaccine, how immediately associated to the demise it was. The TGA is taking a look at this data.
“I nonetheless suppose that the Pfizer vaccine shall be OK, however I believe we now have to attend and see.”