Support for the Victorian government’s COVID-19 roadmap faced more scrutiny as Brian McNamee, chairman of CSL Limited, and the man tasked with manufacturing Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine called it the most “crushing policy” in a modern country.
Leading Victorian businessman, McNamee’s criticised the government’s roadmap for its lack of independent consultancy, placing further pressure on Victorian Premier Dan Andrews to ease the stringent restrictions.
Andrews’ roadmap will see Melbourne remain under stage four lockdown until Sept. 28. Then move through a four-step plan that requires less than five traceable active cases for stage three.
McNamee said that the measures are too strict considering the high recovery rate globally of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
“This is a nasty virus, but the evidence internationally is that most people, particularly young people, recover fully from this disease,” McNamee told The Herald Sun Sept. 10.
“This isn’t ebola. If this was ebola in the community, I get it, but this is a disproportionate response to a disease that we better understand now,” he said.
Andrews has repeatedly defended the roadmap, arguing it was based on modelling conducted by supercomputers and that there was no other way.
“The notion that I have chosen this way to go and there were 50 other options I could have chosen, that’s not in any way accurate,” Andrews said at a press conference Sept. 9.
No data has been publicised about the modelling despite requests from the federal government and media groups.
According to McNamee, those tasked with creating the victorian government’s models are now distancing themselves from the government’s decisions.
“Even the modellers are saying “you’re going a bit too far with this, you asked us to do some work with these inputs, that’s all you asked us to do,” McNamee said.
Greater Melbourne’s harsh lockdown exceeds that of Wuhan, China, the origin of the CCP virus, by a month. Stage four restrictions which are expected to end on Sept. 28, restrict residents from leaving their homes between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., travel is limited to five kilometres.
There are only four reasons for leaving the home, one being a one-hour exercise break. Masks are also compulsory across the state. Victoria police have issued thousands of infringement notices and arrested several individuals for violating the Chief Health Officers directions.
“We are an absolute outlier internationally. It’s the most crushing policy in a modern country with a dynamic city like Melbourne. No one is attempting to do what he’s doing here,” he said.
McNamee’s criticism of the roadmap this week followed those made by federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and some of Australia’s leading epidemiologists.
All have questioned the thresholds established for opening up and have pushed better contact tracing as a measure to deal with the threat of the Sars-CoV-2 virus.