Health

Victoria, Brett Sutton: Top doctor says Covid peak OVER … and we need to get on with our lives 

Australians should move on with their lives and start handling Covid like any other infectious disease now vaccines have ‘defanged’ the virus, according to tweets shared by one of the nation’s most senior doctors. 

Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the latest wave of cases appeared to have started its downward curve as the state recorded 13,091 infections on Sunday and 11,695 on Monday.   

‘Peak in cases very likely behind us,’ Prof Sutton wrote on Twitter. ‘ICU cases and deaths haven’t peaked, but will hopefully stabilise soon.’ 

The top doctor – who backed tough restrictions as Victoria battled through a world-record 262 days in lockdown – also shared an article at the weekend which suggested now is the time ‘to get on with our lives’.  

Professor Sutton also posted an article written by respected American health expert Professor Devi Sridhar, who called for the world to start treating Covid-19 like ‘other infectious diseases we control and manage’.

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Professor Sutton shared an article written by respected US Professor Devi Sridhar, who called for the world to start treating Covid-19 like ‘other infectious diseases we control and manage’

Victorian Police are seen enforcing Covid restrictions last September, as Melbourne suffered through the world's longest lockdown

Victorian Police are seen enforcing Covid restrictions last September, as Melbourne suffered through the world’s longest lockdown 

‘Great article by the very respected Prof Sridhar. Now that science has defanged Covid, it’s time to get on with our lives,’ Prof Sutton tweeted to an article from The Guardian – the latter sentence being the article’s headline. 

In the piece, Prof Sridhar – the chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland – said modern medicine had made the virus much less formidable.

‘First, we now have safe and effective vaccines that protect the vast majority of people from hospitalisation and death,’ she wrote.

She added next-generation vaccines were being developed which would offer ‘sterilising immunity’ – stopping infection completely for the who are double-jabbed.

In the piece, Prof Sridhar - the chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland - said modern medicine had made the virus much less formidable

In the piece, Prof Sridhar – the chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland – said modern medicine had made the virus much less formidable

‘Next, we have exciting home treatments on the horizon for Covid-19,’ she said.

‘We have created ways to minimise the impact of Covid-19. And now is the time to start to recover and heal as a society and move forward.’

The promising outlook comes as Covid-19 transmission plunged in NSW and Victoria on Monday.

NSW recorded 15,091 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, marking a 26 per cent dip on the 20,324 reported on Sunday, and another 24 deaths.

Victoria reported 11,695 new infections, a 10.6 per cent drop on the previous 13,091, and 17 deaths.

NSW hospitalisation rates have risen to 2,816 – up from 2,712 – while Victoria’s hospitalisation figures have dropped to 998 – down from 1,002. 

Pictured are masked workers outside the emergency entrance of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Prof Sridhar said modern medicine had made the virus much less formidable

Pictured are masked workers outside the emergency entrance of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Prof Sridhar said modern medicine had made the virus much less formidable

ICU rates have also risen in NSW to 196 – up from 189 – and dipped in Victoria to 119 – down from 120. 

But pharmacists have warned RAT availability will become stretched as the federal government’s Covid-19 concession scheme launched and the NSW government promised an additional two million tests to be distributed to schools. 

Two test kits per week will be issued to pupils and staff across 3000 primary and secondary schools throughout February.

Pharmacists have warned supply shortages will impact the rollout of the federal government's COVID-19 rapid antigen test concession scheme. Pictured are masked pedestrians in Sydney

Pharmacists have warned supply shortages will impact the rollout of the federal government’s COVID-19 rapid antigen test concession scheme. Pictured are masked pedestrians in Sydney

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, health minister Brad Hazzard dismissed concerns made by parents the weekly tests would disrupt learning in the classrooms.

‘What I would say is just quietly and calmly to them and make sure they understand that this is a very simple process,’ he said.

‘I’m absolutely certain that the children will learn very quickly to accommodate to having the Rapid Antigen Tests.’ 


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