Qantas pilot finds new job amid pandemic
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says he’s confident Australia could handle a potential second wave of the coronavirus.
Speaking to reporters in Canberra on Wednesday, Professor Kelly said if another spike in cases was to occur, authorities would act quickly and thoroughly.
“If a second wave does occur, we’ll deal with it quickly and we’ll respond to it,” he said.
Professor Kelly said Australia had in some ways been a victim of its own success, having been able to keep cases to a minimum.
“We are nowhere near that concept of herd immunity. That would be one way of guarding against a second wave,” he said.
But he said the country was armed with a plan.
“That’s why those three precedents have been set by the Prime Minister before we lift those social distancing and socialisation rules about case finding, keeping the cases low if possible, if cases occur, finding them quickly, finding their contacts, quarantining them and decreasing the size of any outbreaks that we might have,” he said.
Asked whether a second wave would be harder to fight, Professor Kelly said “not necessarily”.
“Certainly if you look at past pandemics … I’m thinking of the 1918-19 flu pandemic after the First World War. There are a lot of reasons why that second was worse, which I don’t think pertains to now,” he said.
“We are much better prepared than we might have been there. That ability to do the laboratory testing rapidly and accurately, to be able to find cases, find their contacts.”