Melbourne coronavirus hot spots: Doorknockers not given masks
The brave souls who are doorknocking across Melbourne’s coronavirus hotspot suburbs, encouraging people to get tested, are doing so without masks.
Recent footage taken around Melbourne by a couple driving through the city’s hot spots showed a number of the workers not wearing masks.
In the video, the couple questioned a number of the government’s public health workers, all who admitted they hadn’t been given masks.
In one exchange, the woman in the car asks a group of the Department of Health and Human Services workers what they’re doing.
“We are collecting the information regarding COVID-19,” the man said, showing his staff badge.
“The Victorian government wants us to let them know what are the conditions of the people, what are the symptoms … people are having and encouraging them to get the test.”
Continuing on their drive, the couple find another group of healthcare workers and question where their masks are.
“We don’t have any masks,” the health worker replied.
“Did the government not give them to you?” the man asked.
“Yeah, we didn’t receive (a mask but I hope from tomorrow onwards we’ll get them,” he said.
Even the department’s own website, on the page explaining what its doorknocking program is, shows public health workers not wearing masks and speaking to a couple.
There has been confusion about wearing masks since the coronavirus crisis hit Australia.
Federal health authorities have long said wearing a mask isn’t necessary for Australians and should only be used when social distancing isn’t possible – such as on public transport or in a shopping centre.
But Victoria is considering updating its advice on masks after coronavirus continues to spread across Melbourne.
“I take the perspective that when you are really trying to drive numbers down to maintain your test and trace capability, it (wearing masks needs to be considered,” Victoria’s chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton said earlier this week.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt also addressed mask use to stop the spread in Victoria.
“If there is a community outbreak then state and territory authorities are in a position to make decisions on whether this should be encouraged or mandatory. This is one of the items Victoria is looking at,” Mr Hunt told ABC’s 7.30.