Australia Braces for Coronavirus Pandemic as Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Says It Might be Unavoidable

The nation’s chief medical officer told Australians there is no need for face masks and to go about their normal business only hours before Victoria’s chief medical officer Doctor Brett Sutton said a coronavirus pandemic may be unavoidable.

Dr Sutton took to Twitter on Sunday and in a six-part message said a surge in cases was “inevitable.”

“It’s clear that with local transmission in several countries that a pandemic is very likely, if not inevitable. We are working rapidly on planning and surge with our health sector,” Dr Sutton said.

“Australia absolutely has world-class healthcare but even the best healthcare in the world is challenged during pandemics, so everyone will need to work together to ensure that should a pandemic eventuate, our services can function as effectively as possible.

“We’ve got some of the brightest minds in the world in our health services, laboratories, research sector and emergency management sector. I’m confident we’re well placed to meet the challenges ahead, whatever they might be. Hoping for the best, and planning for the worst.”

NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant said, that currently there was no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in Australia however, it was prudent to plan for a situation in which this occurs.

His comments come after the country’s chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy downplayed the risk to Australians.

Professor Murphy said there had been no community transmission of the virus in Australia, despite 22 confirmed cases.

“There is no risk to people walking around the streets, walking in the shopping centres,” he said.

“The only risk is being in contact with people who have come from an area where there is high transmission or there’s contact.

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SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald, Jennifer Duke, Rachel Wells and Tate Papworth