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Epidemiologist warns Victoria’s reopening plan is under threat

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Epidemiologist warns Victoria’s reopening plan is under threat

An epidemiologist has warned Victoria may not be able to open up as scheduled if we don’t quickly get on top of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

The state recorded a massive surge in case numbers yesterday, with 1438 cases detected.

Today the daily figure dropped to 1143 cases, but coming days will be crucial.

Head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at Melbourne University, Professor Nancy Baxter, says we can expect high case numbers in the next few days.

“I think there’s likely to be more AFL parties and barbecues from the long weekend that are identified over the next few days,” she told Neil Mitchell.

Professor Baxter warned if cases rise further it may not be possible for the state to open up when 80 per cent double-dose vaccination is reached.

“If we continue on this trajectory our healthcare systems will be well and truly overwhelmed by the time we get to 80 per cent and we’re going to have to take a pause,” she said.

“If the healthcare system is already broken there’s no way we can open up at that time.

“It may take two and a half months if we don’t control it now.”

Professor Baxter urged Victorians to follow the Chief Health Officer’s directions and get tested immediately if they show any symptoms.

“The bad news is we’re here but the good news is that getting out of this is actually in everyone’s control. We just have to … obey the rules,” she said.

Press PLAY below to hear Professor Baxter’s outlook on Victoria’s current COVID-19 situation

Neil Mitchell
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