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TRANSPARENCY AND HONESTY REQUIRED ON GOVERNMENT PROJECTIONS OF CORONAVIRUS SPREAD

11 March 2020

 

South Australian Senator Rex Patrick has called on the Australian Government to publish its current modelling and projections of the likely spread of the coronavirus in Australia. 

“Many Australians do not yet realise how rapidly the COVID-19 virus may spread in Australia,” Senator Patrick said.

“This morning the total number of coronavirus cases in Australia stood at 112.”

“The time taken to get from 100 cases in South Korea to 7000 was about two and a half weeks. The same is true for Italy.”

“It has been estimated by health experts outside the Australian Government that once community transmission gets underway, the number of cases may double every six days.” 

“Whilst I applaud the Government for organising pop-up coronavirus clinics and for laying out $2.5 billion as an initial fiscal instalment to deal with the situation, they are not doing this without reason.”  

“Although Australia’s circumstances will vary compared to South Korea, Italy and other places, the Government will have looked at the overseas data and conducted epidemiological projections on the virus’ likely spread here and that will have informed their response.”  

"The Australian Government must properly forewarn the public about the potential rapid spread of coronavirus in Australia and publish its current modelling and projections.”

“It is better that the public be fully informed and able to plan accordingly, especially with regard to the likely imposition of social distancing measures including school closures, bans on mass gatherings, and potential restrictions on movement.”  

“The Government needs to be transparent and bring the public into its confidence,” Senator Patrick said.