Doctor blasts Covid modelling that will keep Melbourne in lockdown

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One of Australia’s top doctors has slammed ‘overcautious’ modelling that could keep long suffering Melburnians in lockdown until November.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews released the state’s roadmap out of lockdown on Sunday on a week Melbourne is set to become the most lockdown city in the world during the Covd-19 pandemic.

The roadmap predicts Melburnians to be released from their sixth lockdown on October 26, when Victoria is predicted to hit 70 per cent double vaccination.

New modelling from the Burnet Institute has predicted Victoria could record up to 3,000 cases a day within weeks. 

Former federal deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth welcomed the state’s plan but blasted the Burnet modelling which informed the roadmap.

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‘There’s a case to be made the modelling is a little bit overcautious, a little bit overrepresenting the likely impact on the Victorian health system,’ Dr Coatsworth told the Today show on Monday.

He doesn’t believe in the bleak doom and gloom the Burnet Institute has predicted for Victoria as the state recorded 567 new cases and another death on Monday.

‘When you look at most models around the world – and we have real-life examples of this in the United Kingdom – where you get the models, they show a certain picture which is doom and gloom and the reality is substantially less,’ Dr Coatsworth continued.

‘We have a real-life example of that in NSW, where the Burnet Institute predicted far worse than is going on in NSW at the moment.’

He added Victoria has the advantage of seeing what happens when lockdowns are lifted in NSW first before the state reopens where they can adjust the roadmap accordingly.

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Dr Coatsworth reiterated his views there’s no real risk of Covid-19 spreading outdoors as hundreds of Sydneysiders returned to the beach on the weekend as public outdoor pools prepare to reopen next week. 

‘I do think it’s about being safe when you’re actually trying to get to the beach or the pool and not going there if you have symptoms, getting tested. This sort of thing needs to continue,’ he said.

‘It’s not about sort of going down and having a party on Bondi Beach with all of your mates and having very large groups there. 

‘It’s about getting out and being able to enjoy yourself for your mental health and yourself for your mental health and your physical health as well.’

More to come 

Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown

When the state hits 70 per cent double vaccination on October 26: 

*No restrictions on leaving home and 9pm-5am curfew scrapped with the travel limit increased to 25km

*Masks will remain mandatory both indoors and outdoors 

*Year 12 students will return to the classroom from the first week of October

*Kindergarten to Year 2 will then return to school followed by all remaining years which are due to be back by the end of the month

*Early childcare to reopen for children of fully vaccinated parents

*General retail will reopen for outdoor service only with click and collect services to remain available

*Hair salons will reopen for the fully-vaccinated with a limit on five patrons

*Hospitality will reopen for seated and outdoor service only for fully-vaccinated patrons and a capacity limit of 50

*Fully-vaccinated groups can gather outdoors in groups of ten while unvaccinated groups will be capped at five

*Entertainment venues will be reopened for 50 fully vaccinated people for outdoor services only

*Groups of 50 fully vaccinated or 10 unvaccinated people will be able to attend outdoor weddings

Groups of 50 fully vaccinated or 20 unvaccinated people will be able to attend outdoor funerals 

When the state hits 80 per cent double vaccination on November 5:

*Ten people including dependents will be allowed inside homes with masks only to be required while indoors

*Pubs, restaurants and cafes can open for seated service only, with a cap of 150 fully vaccinated people inside and 500 outdoors

*Indoor dining will also be capped at 150 people while 30 people will be permitted to gather outside

*Gyms will reopen to the fully vaccinated with indoor community sport to be permitted for the minimum number required

*Victorians will still be asked to work from home if possible but will be allowed to travel to work if they are fully-vaccinated

*Hair salons, beauty and personal care services will be available to the double-jabbed and all retail stores can reopen

*Early childcare education will reopen with all students to return to school with additional safety measures in place

*Weddings, funerals and religious services will return for 150 double-dosed guests indoors and 500 outdoors

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