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Infectious diseases doctor says Victoria’s snap lockdown was an overreaction

Article image for Infectious diseases doctor says Victoria’s snap lockdown was an overreaction

An infectious diseases doctor says while there may yet be more COVID-19 cases linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak, Victoria’s snap five-day lockdown was an overreaction.

Infectious diseases physician from the ANU Medical School and member of the infection control expert group which advises the federal government, Professor Peter Collignon, says short lockdowns don’t actually stop the virus transmitting.

He says short, snap lockdowns like the one in Victoria, as well as those in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, are an overreaction.

“If the incubation period of this virus is up to 14-day, a five-day lockdown only buys you time for your contact tracers. It doesn’t actually stop all of the infections that might be out in the community that you still might find,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“It hasn’t turned up any cases that weren’t found by your contact tracers.”

NEIL MITCHELL: “Was it an overreaction to close?”

PETER COLLIGNON: “In my view it was.”

Professor Collignon says it’s likely there will be more infections linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak over the next week.

“The average incubation period is five days, which means more than 50 per cent occur after day five,” he said.

But he has “reasonable” expectation that Australia will avoid a major COVID-19 disaster.

“We will have most of the really at risk people vaccinated by June/July, which I think is our next big danger period for spread,” he said.

“Then we will have most of the rest of the adults in Australia vaccinated by the end of the year.”

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