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Act now or face full lockdown: Infection expert’s COVID-19 message to Victorians

Several experts behind Australia’s coronavirus strategy are calling for Victoria to go into a strict lockdown for up to eight weeks, or prepare for continual outbreaks until a vaccine is created.

It comes after Victoria became the first state in the country to reverse the easing of restrictions, and 115 new cases were reported in the week to Monday.

Adjunct Professor Bill Bowtell from the UNSW Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity says Victorians can’t carry on behaving as they currently are.

“I don’t think a lockdown is required in the next couple of days, but obviously Victoria is at a big crossroads,” he told Ross and John.

“There has been too much complacency. I think people have decided that victory has been declared … and I think people just made a very big leap that wasn’t justified.

“If this keeps going and the steady drum beat of cases keeps rising, then of course the authorities are gong to have to look at more stringent restrictions.”

Professor Bowtell says it’s “up to the people” what happens next.

He urged anyone with symptoms to get tested and self-isolate, and said everyone must observe social distancing and hand hygiene at all times.

“We’ve got to have better compliance with the things that we know work, and so avoid any more serious restrictions.”

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