Federal government backbencher Dave Sharma joins reaction to UK ‘pilot' Covid-19 experiment

Federal government backbencher Dave Sharma joins reaction to UK ‘pilot’ Covid-19 experiment

Clubbers take to the dance floor just minutes after Pryzm nightclub threw open its doors to celebrate the relaxing of Covid-19 rules in Brighton. Picture: Chris EadesSource:Getty Images

A federal government Liberal party backbencher says Australians would not be comfortable with a UK-style covid experiment and that restrictions cannot be lifted at the expense of human lives.

It comes at the same time an Australian epidemiologist labelled Britain’s move as “breathtaking”.

Appearing on ABC’s Afternoon Briefing on Tuesday, Dave Sharma was questioned on whether Australia should adopt a similar approach to easing restrictions.

Mr Sharma said the Australian public would likely not accept a higher death rate.

Federal government backbencher Dave Sharma joins reaction to UK ‘pilot’ Covid-19 experiment

Two people hug in the middle of the dancefloor at Egg London nightclub in the early hours in London. Picture: Rob PinneySource:Getty Images

Federal government backbencher Dave Sharma joins reaction to UK ‘pilot’ Covid-19 experiment

A man poses for a photograph while waiting to be served at the bar at Wetherspoons pub The Moon Under Water in Manchester. Picture: Charlotte TattersallSource:Getty Images

England lifted most pandemic restrictions overnight, dubbed, “Freedom Day”, despite surging infections and dire warnings from experts, as the Delta variant swept parts of Europe and Asia and new cases in the Olympic Village threatened to mar the upcoming Tokyo Games.

In Britain, daily infections have climbed, averaging more than 50,000 since last week, with Delta taking hold in many areas.

But despite accusations of recklessness, the UK government lifted legal mandates on social distancing, wearing masks and working from home, urging personal responsibility instead.

Just under 70 per cent of the eligible population are fully vaccinated in England.

Federal government backbencher Dave Sharma joins reaction to UK ‘pilot’ Covid-19 experiment

A group of friends walk along a street in Newcastle on Freedom Day. Picture: Ian ForsythSource:Getty Images

SA based Dr Emma Miller from Flinders University told the ABC the decision was “astonishing” and was critical of the decision.

“It really is rather astonishing at a time when they’re getting tens of thousands of cases a day,” she said.

“It’s true, there hasn’t been the same sort of rise in hospitalisations and deaths, but we know that those occur later.”

Federal government backbencher Dave Sharma joins reaction to UK ‘pilot’ Covid-19 experiment

Passengers on a busy Bakerloo line train going north at rush hour in London. Picture: Martin PopeSource:Getty Images

As lockdown fatigue hits NSW, Victoria, South Australia and most recently, NSW’s Central West, questions are being asked at what point should states open up?

In NSW, the target is 80 per cent of the eligible population, while it is reported national cabinet is working with scientific modelling to determine the number of residents needed here to make a similar move.

ABC presenter Patricia Karvelas questioned: “Do we have to be prepared for the consequences of letting the virus in, that as long as every one has the chance of vaccination, that people may get sick, they may even die, that that’s a reality check that we may need to be talking about that?”

Mr Sharma said “experience overseas” suggested the population needed to be “north of 50 per cent” vaccinated “and it seems to be the consensus among experts its somewhere around 70 or 80 per cent”, he added.

“Ideally where we get to is Covid-19 becomes no more dangerous, no worse than the common communicable disease.

“I hope that’s the point we get too, we just have to be cautious.”

Federal government backbencher Dave Sharma joins reaction to UK ‘pilot’ Covid-19 experiment

Dave Sharma in Sydney. Picture: Joel CarrettSource:News Corp Australia

Mr Sharma said both politicians and the public will need to decide how much risk they are willing to accept

“The UK is basically conducting a pilot for us now as we speak, they’ve removed nearly all their restrictions, they’re opening right up.

“My understanding is in Australia we would not be comfortable, the public and government, with a death rate of 15 or 16 people dying each day of Covid 19.”

“I think we’re going to have to see how does this play out in countries that are further down the track than we are and what is our level of public comfort.

“That’s a decision that we all need to take collectively.”

The UK government says thanks to a rapid vaccination program, the risks to the healthcare system are manageable, but the approach is marked by “moral emptiness and epidemiological stupidity”, said University of Bristol public health expert Gabriel Scally.

“I know people are asking us, ‘once we get to this point can you promise us every thing is going to go back to normal’?” Mr Sharma said.

“The truth is no one who’s responsible can do that, because we’re in uncharted waters. I wish that was the case, I hope that was the case, but we can’t be certain of that.

The coronavirus is known to have claimed more than four million lives since it emerged in late 2019.

— with AFP

News Related


'Mustering cats': Joyce on stubborn states

Barnaby Joyce has likened striking unanimous state agreements on coronavirus to mustering cats as he warned an ongoing zero-case pursuit would lead to economic collapse. © Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS Australia ... Read more »

Qld quarantine escapee refused bail

A woman accused of forcing a door to break out of hotel quarantine in Queensland and going on the run for days has been refused bail. © Samantha Manchee/AAP PHOTOS ... Read more »

Infected authorised worker triggers Northern NSW lockdown

© Getty Byron Bay is one of the LGAs in Northern New South Wales that will enter a snap lockdown.. The Tweed, Byron Bay and Kempsey local government areas in ... Read more »

Melbourne protesters march down city streets lighting flares, fireworks

© Nine Protesters were chanting Hundreds of riled-up protesters are rallying through Melbourne CBD streets after being warned to “leave now or force may be used”. Vision captured from the ... Read more »

Anthony Milford didn't assault partner but was allegedly violent

It can be revealed that NRL star Anthony Milford did not assault his partner and mother of his two children during a pre-dawn rampage but instead allegedly assaulted onlookers who ... Read more »

Far North Queensland tourism not bouncing back, school holiday numbers worse than expected

© Provided by ABC Business Green Island is a well-known holiday destination and sits just off Cairns in the Great Barrier Reef. (Supplied: Naomi Brookfield, file photo) The crowds are nowhere to ... Read more »

Farmers warn not to bog them down in bureaucracy in firefighting registration push

© Provided by ABC NEWS Farm fire fighting units played a big role during the 2020 bushfires on Kangaroo Island. (Supplied: Sabrina Davis) A trial to register private fire units ... Read more »

NSW records 1022 new local COVID-19 cases; lockdown reintroduced in Byron, Kempsey and Tweed LGAs

© Getty Hazzard encouraged locals to “take this very seriously”, expressing concern about low testing and vaccination rates in the region. NSW has reported 1022 new local coronavirus cases, as ... Read more »

Melbourne protest marches on after warning

A second violent clash outside Melbourne’s construction union headquarters has been avoided but hundreds of protesters are now marching towards state parliament. © James Ross/AAP PHOTOS Protesters clad in hi-vis ... Read more »

Queensland eyes Byron case as Tweed prepares for snap lockdown

© Getty Palaszczuk said the state had passed the milestone of 60 per cent of eligible Queenslanders having received a first dose of the vaccine. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has ... Read more »

NSW records 1,022 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths as 'friends bubble' for under 18s announced

NSW recorded 1,022 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday. There were 10 COVID-19 fatalities in the reporting period. A snap seven-day lockdown has been ... Read more »

Alleged Darwin shooter pleads not guilty

A man on trial for the shooting murders of four people in Darwin has pleaded not guilty as jury selection gets underway. © PR HANDOUT IMAGE PHOTO Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann ... Read more »

Model Ajak Deng turns stuns in a mini dress at London Fashion Week

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo She recently made a return to the modelling industry following a three-year hiatus. And South Sudanese-born Australian stunner Ajak Deng has been front ... Read more »

Melbourne Star faces $3.9m liquidation debt bill

© Eddie Jim The Melbourne Star Wheel in Docklands is set to be closed permanently due to COVID lockdowns. 6 September 2021. The Age News. Photo: Eddie Jim. The Melbourne ... Read more »

WA launches 'uplifting' vaccination campaign

© Getty West Australian Premier Mark McGowan hopes the new advertising campaign will help life the state’s vaccination numbers. WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced a new “uplifting” advertising campaign ... Read more »

Aukus row: European Union demands apology from Australia over France's treatment before trade talks

The European Union is demanding answers – and an apology from Australia – over its treatment of France as the fallout from the Aukus announcement threatens to delay a key ... Read more »

Higher borrowing costs for companies not hitting gender targets

© AAP “Targets need to be set and targets need to have teeth,” says Diane Smith-Gander, who chairs the Committee for Economic Development of Australia and buy now, pay later ... Read more »

Vic protesters given 'final' warning

Hundreds of hi-vis-clad protesters chanting near the construction union’s Melbourne office for a second day have been told to back down by police. © James Ross/AAP PHOTOS Victoria Police have ... Read more »

Another COVID case announced for the Northern Rivers, infectious in Tweed, Ballina, Byron Bay

© Provided by ABC Health A regional Greens MP says residents of the Northern Rivers in New South Wales will be “sitting ducks” if restrictions on who can travel to ... Read more »

PM shrugs off risks to Europe trade talks

Scott Morrison has shrugged off warnings Australia’s decision to ditch a $90 billion French submarine contract risks derailing free-trade negotiations with the European Union. © Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS “It’s not an ... Read more »

NSW set to open up on October 11 as state edges closer to jab target

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo NSW is on track to hit its 70 per cent double jab target in a fortnight and could open up as early as ... Read more »

Construction shutdown a 'bitter blow' to those doing the right thing

Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson says she had only “some warning” on Monday that the industry was going to be shut down. Work sites across Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, Mitchell ... Read more »

Confidence tumbles in locked-down states

Hefty job losses resulting from lengthy coronavirus lockdowns in NSW and Victoria have taken their toll on consumer confidence. © David Crosling/AAP PHOTOS Consumer confidence has taken a knock in ... Read more »

Melbourne must wait for 90% vaccination rate to reopen, expert claims

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Allison Langdon has called out a health expert for arguing Melbourne should wait until 90 per cent of its residents are vaccinated against ... Read more »

How NSW and Victoria arrived at two different road maps

© Getty In Victoria, cabinet ministers believe the Andrews’ government’s prospects at the next election are tied to its ability to chart a more cautious approach which they maintain is ... Read more »

Scott Morrison not planning to discuss submarine deal with French President Emmanuel Macron while at United Nations General Assembly

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended Australia’s decision to scrap a $90 billion submarine contract with France, and says he has no plans to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron ... Read more »

Victorian construction union boss John Setka blames 'morons' for industry shutdown after violent protests

© Provided by ABC Health John Setka surrounded by protesters outside the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne’s CBD on Monday. (ABC News) Victoria’s construction industry is reeling after it was plunged ... Read more »

New funding for eating disorder research

A new federal strategy has been unveiled on how eating disorders will be treated in Australia during the next decade. © Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS Greg Hunt says the strategy is ... Read more »

COVID-19 will remain a ‘fire' fought on multiple fronts, Doherty Institute says

© Getty To date, 47 per cent of the eligible population aged 16 and over have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine. Mask-wearing will remain indefinitely in some settings ... Read more »

NSW kids can socialise in bubble of three

Children under 18 in NSW will be able to catch-up with each other in groups of three, in a concession to families during the school holidays. © Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS ... Read more »

Sydney news: Under 18s to be allowed to visit friends at home; Byron Bay could face new lockdown after visitor tests positive

Here’s what you need to know this morning. ‘Friends bubbles’ for under 18s Young people under 18 will be allowed to visit their friends’ houses from today after a ‘friends ... Read more »

'Friends bubble' to be introduced for under-18s

© Getty People gather for picnics at Observatory Hill on September 19, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. In welcome news for families at the beginning of the school holidays, children will ... Read more »

Indigenous inmate sues ACT government over ‘vile and racist' image allegedly drawn by prison staff

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP A vulnerable Indigenous inmate who prison officers allegedly depicted hanging from a noose on a prison whiteboard is suing the Australian Capital ... Read more »

Violent construction protest infiltrated with 'neo-Nazis', fake tradies

© Nine Construction workers protest outside the office of the CFMEU against mandatory vaccines in the construction industry. The violent construction protest held outside the CFMEU union headquarters in Melbourne ... Read more »

Push beyond 80pct vax rates needed: report

Vaccinating 80 per cent of adults against coronavirus won’t be enough to end lockdowns, according to new modelling urging Australia to immunise children as young as five.  © Daniel Pockett/AAP PHOTOS ... Read more »

Man wanted after stabbing at Policeman Point on South Australia's Coorong

© Provided by ABC NEWS The Coorong is a coastal lagoon at the mouth of the River Murray. (ABC News) SA Police are looking for a man they say was ... Read more »

CFMEU boss slams 'fake tradies' which shut down construction industry

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A powerful construction union boss has slammed ‘fake tradies’ who sparked violent and ugly scenes outside union headquarters which has shut down the ... Read more »

Sydney news: Under 18s to be allowed to visit friends at home; COVID hotspots hitting vaccine milestones faster

Here’s what you need to know this morning. ‘Friends bubbles’ for under 18s Children and young people aged under 18 will be allowed to visit their friends’ houses from today.The ... Read more »

Indigenous community of Cherbourg calls for help to deal with suicide crisis

© Provided by ABC Health An Indigenous community in Queensland’s South Burnett is crying out for help after losing more than 10 people to suicide in the past year. Almost ... Read more »

Groundbreaking WA study shows early intervention therapy can drastically reduce autism diagnosis in children

© Provided by ABC Health Early intervention with infants at risk of autism through therapy led by their parents improves the child’s social development to such an extent they are ... Read more »