As the Federal Government is responsible for COVID-19 quarantine and securing the vaccination supplies that Australia needs, it is very worrying that they seem incapable of either.
When the pandemic hit the world more than 18 months ago, it was obvious that we needed purpose-built quarantine facilities in every state and territory.
Virtually all of our ‘leaks’ and then lockdowns have originated in hotel quarantine, set up no doubt to give the tourist industry some income, but it has always been only a half-baked solution.
Now that the Delta variant of COVID-19 has reached our shores, hotel quarantine will prove completely unsuitable and inadequate.
We know COVID-19 has aerosol spread and hotel quarantine air exchange is problematic in nearly all cases.
A Covid-free mine worker spent one night in a Queensland hotel in quarantine on his way to his job site and caught COVID-19.
The solution is so simple – purpose-built quarantine facilities built in every State and Territory.
Howard Springs, our only purpose-built quarantine station is located in the Northern Territory, catering for 2,000 people, and it is the only facility not to spread this deadly virus.
More than 18 months on and the Federal Government is just now in talks and planning for these facilities in most States but not NSW yet.
Far too little, far too late, Mr Morrison.
Next, we move on to the essential second phase of protection for the public, a vaccination program.
Well, what a debacle that has been and still is.
Why? Because this Federal Government put too many eggs in the AstraZeneca basket and didn’t spread our options as far and wide as necessary.
They had good, but short-sighted, reasons for this.
We could manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine here but don’t have the facilities to manufacture the new mRNA vaccines – the ones for the future.
So, did this Federal Government start building mRNA manufacturing facilities? No, and still no.
Now they’re scrambling to get Pfizer and Moderna in sufficient numbers to provide us with herd immunity which will occur when around 80 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated.
So, here we are, in the midst of a deadly Delta outbreak, looking at a lot longer than six months before we are anywhere near covered as a country.
We will be hoping, because that’s all we’ve got left, that we get this outbreak under control and there’s not a new and more dangerous variant to arrive here between now and whenever we are finally vaccinated in enough numbers.
Pathetically poor planning.
Too much spin, squabbling, denial and incompetence has left Australia in a very sorry state with the plan and advice being changed daily much to the confusion of the public leaving millions of vulnerable people still at very great risk.
Whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing, foresight, vision and leadership would serve us a whole lot better.
It’s a pity there appears to be a dearth of it around in the Australian Government at the moment.
Email, July 11
Susan Wynn, Mannering Park