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