Canberrans to be locked down for at least another month

Dominic Giannini 16 April 2020 83
Chief Minister Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the current lockdown measures will be in place for at least the next month. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Canberrans are set to endure at least another month in lockdown after a National Cabinet decision to maintain the current COVID-19 suppression measures.

Suppression of COVID-19 remains the primary focus of governments as Australia continues to flatten the curve and our health capacity is ramped up

Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the measures will be reviewed in two to three weeks, but no changes to the policy will be made until at least mid-May.

“We will continue to make these decisions based on expert health advice and through the policymaking framework of the National Cabinet,” he said.

“Consistency [will be sought] as much as possible within the Canberra region, so collaboration with the NSW Government will underpin our local public health response.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said restrictions would not be eased until a broader testing regime, better tracing ability and an increased local response capacity are in place.

Mr Morrison lauded state and territory health authorities for their work on testing and contact tracing – with modelling showing 92 per cent of symptomatic cases are being caught – but said Australia’s capacity had to improve before moving forward.

“We need the ability to move very fast and lockdown an outbreak where it occurs so it does not transmit more broadly,” he said.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy reiterated this point, saying the federal medical advisory body is not confident enough to provide the government with a guarantee that our public healthcare system could handle an outbreak.

“We cannot afford to relax until we have a public health system which is so finely tuned that it can detect and respond to any outbreak,” he said.

“Our public health system is one of the best in the world, but we just have to hold the course while we get ourselves completely ready so that we can live through these next difficult months together.”

Mr Barr said the current lockdown measures are needed to buy our health system valuable time down the track.

“One of the things that we are doing successfully at the moment through our suppression of the virus is buying time for more equipment to be manufactured locally, within Australia, but also to be imported from offshore.

“This boost in the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be essential to undertake more activities in the health system and respond to the pandemic in future stages.

“It is so important that we continue our collective efforts as a community to slow the spread of the virus in order to buy our health system time to acquire that equipment – to have it produced and to have it available for our health professionals.”

The lifting of measures may also be based on the willingness of Canberrans to sign up to a tracking app that will allow the government – with permission – to trace their movements.

“We really do need to have a discussion about the nature of [contact tracing] technology and people’s willingness to voluntarily utilise it,” Mr Barr said.

“In Singapore, where the technology is currently being utilised, it has a take-up rate of 20 per cent. The advice we have is that you would need at least 40 per cent to utilise it to make it worthwhile.

“It is a question for Australians, would they be prepared to sign up to such a technology? Time will tell.”


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83 Responses to Canberrans to be locked down for at least another month
Leo Eliadis Leo Eliadis 4:09 pm 21 Apr 20

The shop fronts are just wasting every body's time and patients. No cash payments no card payments.wait we will call you .for a rego transfer??? Just a joke .tipical act government stuff ups.

Paul Waters Paul Waters 3:43 pm 20 Apr 20

should stay in lockdown for at least another 4 to 5 months

Amy LD Amy LD 8:53 am 20 Apr 20

Another month in lockdown = another 4kg

Acton Acton 11:42 pm 19 Apr 20

Our ancestors, the ones we are supposed to commemorate and thank on Anzac Day, died fighting for the freedoms we are now letting Barr take away. This coronavirus is simply delusional mass hysteria. A panpanic.

    JC JC 11:36 am 20 Apr 20

    Barr, plus Morrison, plus all the other state leaders, plus most of the leaders in the world, except maybe Trump.

    Yup it is all Barr’s fault, all fake news and all a sham.

    I really do wonder.

Natalie Anne Hargreaves Natalie Anne Hargreaves 5:16 pm 17 Apr 20

Schools back please it's hard to school and work at the same time. Also it's safe for kids especially with 0 cases and more recovered than dead from the disease

    Steph Stewart Steph Stewart 9:54 pm 19 Apr 20

    Natalie Anne Hargreaves right before winter? I would hate nothing more then my kid to bring home the flu then have a battle with covid19

rsm1105 rsm1105 4:42 pm 17 Apr 20

As I understand it, ‘flatten the curve” does not mean eliminating the virus, but extending the transmission timeline. Does it ultimately mean less people die (taking system overload out of the equation)?

If/once curve is flattened, and the assessment is that medical system capacity is in place, don’t we then ease up on restrictions, particularly for lower risk groups?

Those advocating for sitting at home until (or if) a vaccine is developed also need to start modeling the impacts of this approach. And those impacts won’t just be in $$. The $$ impacts are the most obvious.

And $750 a week does not cover basic living costs for many who have been stood down.

Sonja Abernathy Sonja Abernathy 3:30 pm 17 Apr 20

I'm so glad because it would be a bad decision to end lock down too early.

Ian O'Hara Ian O'Hara 12:30 pm 17 Apr 20

The concern for privacy reflected in many comments suggests an over estimation of the self importance of those making such comments. Unless you’re a terrorist or other criminal, nobody cares who you associate with, least of all any government or bureaucrat. Put aside the paranoia, sign up and uninstall once the pandemic has passed. Let’s use all the tools at our disposal to overcome this calamity as well as provide some personal protection through awareness.

Star Fox Star Fox 11:31 am 17 Apr 20

I don’t mind being traced as long as it’s optional, it’s not like I’m going anywhere anyway.

Dee Brown Dee Brown 8:10 am 17 Apr 20

Do not accept government tracking! Ever! Just because you’re scared! Continue with social distancing etc, but don’t hand over your freedom of association so easily!

Alexandra Hughes Alexandra Hughes 6:36 am 17 Apr 20

If i was a conspiracy theorist....

Kylee Taylor Kylee Taylor 5:48 am 17 Apr 20

Good. If we’re complacent now the situation could change dramatically

Rick Reeks Rick Reeks 9:06 pm 16 Apr 20

What about the stupidity of the shop fronts not issuing plates for a new car. They will have them couriered to you which takes up to 7 days. They will then get you to get a rego inspection so you can then go back to the shop front to get a 7 day permit so you can drive the car until the plates arrive. Cost $120+. But who hands the plates to the courier? Absolute public service stupidly which will result in anarchy if it continues. Commen sense or is that obsolete for these morons.

Jimmy Stewart Jimmy Stewart 7:23 pm 16 Apr 20

Lockdown? 🤣

I saw more people out today than before this all started!

*I was out for a medical appt*

Jose Vega Jose Vega 7:16 pm 16 Apr 20

Not really a lockdown in the sense of European countries like what's its like in Italy or Spain where you can't go out for exercise, dog walks are only 100m from home base and you can't go out for a drive, where only one person of the household is allowed out at one time for shopping at the nearest shops etc. Ours in comparison is pretty good.

Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 6:57 pm 16 Apr 20

If we don’t use or need the additional medical facility being set up by Aspen Health, do we get our $$$ back? It’s supposed to be operational by May for the influx of patients. We’ve got less than 30 active cases and the majority are at home. What happens to the $$$?

    Peter Norton Peter Norton 7:20 pm 16 Apr 20

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason like any insurance policy, you still hope you never need it.... and you shouldn’t expect a refund if you don’t make a claim.

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 7:51 pm 16 Apr 20

    Peter Norton so rate payers will cover the costs then?

    Peter Norton Peter Norton 8:00 pm 16 Apr 20

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason , GST, payroll tax, stamp duty and rates all fund our health system. The cost of this particular initiative is the least of our worries in the scheme of things. Was it a smart risk mitigation step? Perhaps we should look at what has happened in other places, inc the Tasmanian hospital that had the outbreak. With benefit of hindsight it perhaps looks excessive, but remember that at the time the decision was made, things looked very scary.

    Suzanne Tunks Suzanne Tunks 8:37 pm 16 Apr 20

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason also we have a pretty low testing rate here so time will tell how many really have the virus. Not much more than 1.5% of our population has been tested with very strict conditions. As the testing increases, let’s see where that takes us. I personally will only be extremely grateful and relieved if we have no need for the extra emergency facility being built and I’m ver glad it’s being built just in case.

    Nardia Kerin Nardia Kerin 8:40 pm 16 Apr 20

    If we don't need it then we should all be thankful...If we do need it then how it was paid for will be the least of our worries.

    Alexandra Hughes Alexandra Hughes 6:35 am 17 Apr 20

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason would it not have been quicker and cheaper to get the military to set up temporary field hospitals.

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 7:00 am 17 Apr 20

    Alexandra Hughes good idea. Why are we using this company and other states aren’t? It’s easy to sell fear. We’ve done such s good job in the ACT that I can’t see it being used.

    Amir Sharma Amir Sharma 9:53 am 17 Apr 20

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason You are one stupid woman. Nothing more needs to be said.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 11:41 am 20 Apr 20

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason NSW is using Aspen. They are the ones taking care of the Ruby Princess among other things.

    Suzanne Tunks Suzanne Tunks 4:18 pm 20 Apr 20

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason as they say, don’t count your chickens til they hatch 🐣

Julia Nesbitt Julia Nesbitt 6:48 pm 16 Apr 20

A month. NO PROBLEM. Its working. We just need to hang in there. Its getting cooler and we hibernate anyway.

Matt Fallon Matt Fallon 6:42 pm 16 Apr 20

Under no condition should we allow the Govt to use tracing technology.

    Glen Rodden Glen Rodden 6:52 pm 16 Apr 20

    Matt Fallon we already do.

    Sue Jameson Sue Jameson 7:19 pm 16 Apr 20

    Glen Rodden absolutely! People really don’t understand tte tracing!

    Michael Lemmey Michael Lemmey 8:02 pm 16 Apr 20

    Matt Fallon ever allow an app to access your location? Use Google maps, Strava, Uber? All tracing technology. Use your phone, when it passes a tower it sends a signal, tracing technology. We're already using it every day.

    Matt Fallon Matt Fallon 8:43 pm 16 Apr 20

    Michael Lemmey yes to private companies. Do you want all that info in the hands of thegov as well?

    Michael Lemmey Michael Lemmey 8:44 pm 16 Apr 20

    Matt Fallon government has plenty of location information. No worse than private companies anyway.

    Ngaire Harvey Ngaire Harvey 10:04 pm 16 Apr 20

    And usually the govt doesn't care too much about your movements. Only when your lost, in danger or do something wrong. Other than that, they just don't have resources to track people Willy nilly.

    Dee Brown Dee Brown 8:19 am 17 Apr 20

    Ngaire Harvey but what is wrong? It’s a slippery slope. If you talk with someone who the govt has flagged cos, I dunno, they were at a climate change protest, are you now flagged, are you now on some list. Never trust the govt. especially with tracking information.

    And to answer above...I have location services turned off, and only turn on to use a feature, then turn straight back off. Have always done it that way.

    Matt Fallon Matt Fallon 10:19 am 17 Apr 20

    Michael Lemmey so your happy to give it over?

    Michael Lemmey Michael Lemmey 10:24 am 17 Apr 20

    Matt Fallon we already have. And you really think Google and Apple are all benevolent?

    Matt Fallon Matt Fallon 1:08 pm 17 Apr 20

    Michael Lemmey no but i dont want the govt to have the power they are disscussing in the article. Cant believe ppl endorse thisbehaviour

    Michael Lemmey Michael Lemmey 1:28 pm 17 Apr 20

    Matt Fallon social contract theory. Need to give away some liberties to be part of a democratic society.

    Narelle Ford Narelle Ford 5:24 pm 17 Apr 20

    Matt Fallon and when Dutton wants to use it?

Samantha Watson Samantha Watson 6:37 pm 16 Apr 20

Bek Sinclair birthdays in iso 😭

Duncan Whiterod Duncan Whiterod 6:33 pm 16 Apr 20

This government cannot be trusted with tracing technology

    Tara Murray Tara Murray 6:35 pm 16 Apr 20

    Duncan Whiterod maybe you should go do a better job then

    Andrew Buerckner Andrew Buerckner 6:52 pm 16 Apr 20

    No government can be, but with give it to Google and fb... Hell I'm doing it now

    Claire Majella Claire Majella 7:41 pm 16 Apr 20

    Duncan Whiterod I’m ok with that!

    Sarah Emmerson Sarah Emmerson 9:50 pm 16 Apr 20

    Duncan Whiterod I’m more concerned about tik tock users where they all have signed access to their data away!

    Sarah Emmerson Sarah Emmerson 9:51 pm 16 Apr 20

    Duncan Whiterod https://youtu.be/xJlopewioK4

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