By Neeraj Nanda
MELBOURNE, 24 August 2021: In his live TV media conference on 23 August, PM Scott Morrison strongly pushed for Australia to gear up for the “live with the virus” National Plan once 70% & 80 % of Australians are vaccinated. The Plan was accepted by the National Cabinet. “There will be risks in it,” he says. But, there are greater risks if the country is not opened up, he pressed. But some states are opposing. He wants the country to “move forward on the plan”:
The Dorthy Institute’s director, Sharon Lewin said, “We need to keep suppressing COVID-19 through public health measures while we work towards 70%-80% vaccination across the country. This will ensure we continue to keep the level of hospitalizations and deaths as low as possible to protect the community and prevent our healthcare system from becoming overrun.” (The Conversation, August 23, 2021).
“We must adjust our mindset. Cases will not be the issue once we get above 70%. Dealing with serious illness, hospitalization, ICU capabilities, our ability to respond in those circumstances, that will be our goal. And we will live with this virus as we live with other infectious diseases. That’s what the national plan is all about,” the PM said at the media conference.
The National Plan means to open up Australia without reaching COVID-zero. Many disagree as they think the current strategies are working. It will also depend on when will the 70% or 80 % vaccination rate will be achieved? Probably, by year end. One has to wait and see.