Victoria’s chief health officer has issued an urgent warning that a mutant strain of coronavirus could hit Australian shores as early as next year while criticizing the country’s response to the pandemic.
Brett Sutton has criticized the federal government for not including an “explicit recovery phase” in its national cabinet’s Covid-19 roadmap.
He warned that 2022 will bring new challenges for Covid-tired residents are preparing for a third year of life with the virus.
In an article written by Dr. Stephen Duckett of the Grattan Institute and published by the Medical Journal of Australia, the authors said the government must prepare to weather the ongoing effects of Covid-19.
“All viruses mutate, new dominant strains emerge. We don’t know if the next SARS-CoV-2 strain will be worse than its predecessor or if a new vaccine is needed and could be developed quickly, ”they wrote.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (pictured) has criticized the federal government for not including an “explicit recovery phase” in its National Cabinet’s Covid-19 roadmap
The scientists accuse the federal government of not having sufficiently planned the economic and psychological effects of the pandemic in its official timetable.
The co-authors said the recovery period, which usually followed a public health emergency, would usually resolve those effects.
The four-part roadmap agreed by the Australian states and territories ends with the “final post-vaccination phase,” in which lockdowns are abolished and international borders opened.
“Disappointingly, the roadmap does not contain an explicit recovery phase: it is as if we can all soon breathe a sigh of relief and just move on,” says the paper.
Mr Sutton warned that 2022 would bring a number of new challenges as Covid-tired residents prepare for a third year of life alongside the virus (pictured bar-goers in Sydney).
In addition to the persistent health conditions of the virus, the magazine also pointed out that burnout needs to be addressed in overworked health workers.
The mental health effects would have to be dealt with in “years instead of weeks”, in addition to persistent health problems such as “long covid”, postponed voting and the effects of the virus on heart and respiratory function.
The academics said the coronavirus had unevenly affected Australia, putting the impoverished more at a disadvantage.
“Covid-19 became a disease of low-income workers – those who couldn’t work from home – and their families and communities,” the newspaper said.
“The recovery phase must restore the resilience of the community and the system and remove the disadvantages exacerbated by Covid-19.”
The academics said while Australia “weathered the Covid-19 storm well,” it was time to buckle up to protect the health system (pictured, punters in Sydney).
While the co-authors agreed that Australia “weathered the Covid-19 storm well,” they said it was time to buckle up to protect the public health system.
“Our death rate was among the lowest in the world, and the impact on the economy was also relatively small,” the magazine said.
“But these successes may have hampered our introduction of vaccinations. We cannot allow complacency to affect our life with Covid-19 in a similar way. ”
However, the authors applauded the Australian health system for adapting “remarkably well” to Covid-19.
They pointed to successfully established mass vaccination centers, expanded telemedicine options for outpatients and the flexibility shown by hospitals.
The authors said that instead of a “witch hunt”, the government should try to reflect its response to the pandemic as an “exercise to learn and improve”.
By Saturday, 90 percent of people aged 16 and over in Australia had received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 83 percent had received two (pictured, a nurse is administering a vaccine).
Mr Sutton and Mr Duckett said the local, state and national levels need to reflect on the public health lessons from the pandemic.
“The federal government needs to develop a policy for the permanent inclusion of telemedicine in basic and specialized care in the community,” they said.
Health experts said the government should share the pandemic’s increased health care costs in addition to the cost of deferred care for the next two years.
“According to the current regulations, these costs are borne entirely by the states due to the cap on federal funds.”
By Saturday, 90 percent of people aged 16 and over in Australia had received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 83 percent had received two.