Coronavirus live updates Australia: more ‘prompt’ response could have prevented Victoria’s aged care deaths, says Brendan Murphy | Australia news

Noble Horvath

First of all, I remember the national cabinet meeting very well. It was actually the states and territories that were most urgent in moving forward and they made the recommendation to move so quickly to establish hotel quarantine and we supported that. That was a, quite a long yes discretion […]

First of all, I remember the national cabinet meeting very well. It was actually the states and territories that were most urgent in moving forward and they made the recommendation to move so quickly to establish hotel quarantine and we supported that. That was a, quite a long yes discretion and the states were keen to move forward and get this in place so, that was a genuine decision then by national cabinet at the initiation of the states and territories to move as quickly as they did.

I welcomed the fact that they were so keen to move so quickly and get those quarantine arrangements in place.

In all other states and territories, I think the experience has been quite different to Victoria, and that is a great shame [for] Victoria. But, you know, that is what has occurred and that’s all plain for people to see.

In relation to the second question, well, the offer was made for the ADF to be available. It was taken up by most states, not by some, and that was a decision for the states and territories, so how best that to be done was a matter for those states and territories to determine and so I will leave it to the inquiry to make their own recommendations.

Thirdly, in relation to issues of home quarantine – which is largely I think what you’re referring to – if we recall back in February and March of this year, that’s how it was working and I’ve got to say particularly among the Chinese Australian community, where the risk of greatest, where people were returning from mainland China and even Wuhan at one point, that home quarantine was followed incredibly assiduously by our Chinese European community and that, as I’ve said on many occasions proved absolutely vital in Australia’s success in managing the impact of that first wave.

Now, I think home quarantine can play a role in the future and it’s something that is being considered by the AHPPC and particularly as we move beyond the phase we’re in now and we do look to see … To have our borders open up at some point to safe locations weather it be New Zealand or parts of the Pacific or places like South Korea or Japan or countries that have had, I think, a much higher rate of success, then there are opportunities to look at those alternative methods, a triaging if you like. And many countries do this. Denmark operates on a traffic light system which goes along those sorts of lines.

In Greece, they have an algorithm which triages people based on where they’ve come from and where they’ve been and that quantifies the risk.

At the end of the day, the answer to your question is really how you’re going to manage risk and how you’re going to identify it and then apply the right solution to the risk that presents and I think as time goes on, we will need a more flexible approach that gives us more options for managing this, so I think that is something that is under active consideration and when it comes in, that will obviously be determined principally by the health advice that can provide a green light to those sorts of options once again but I’m hopeful it’s something we can move to.

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