Australia begins shut down

Things are moving towards lockdowns in Australia, with Victoria and NSW the first states to move.

Victoria: State to progressively shut down non-essential activity over next 48 hours

Victoria will be shut down over the next 48 hours, with only essential services to remain open.

All schools will be shut from Tuesday, as 67 new coronavirus cases were confirmed overnight.

This is the largest one-day increase yet, and brings the state’s tally to 296 cases, at least three of which were acquired through community transmission.

When questioned about suggestions Victoria was pushing for a total lockdown including all non-essential businesses next Tuesday, the Prime Minister said any further restrictions would be discussed this afternoon at a meeting of a medical expert panel with all states participating.

Berejiklian to push for a full lockdown of non essential services in NSW

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she will push for a full lockdown of non-essential services over the next 48 hours with schools expected to close from Tuesday.

“Tonight I will be informing the national cabinet that NSW will proceed to a more comprehensive shutdown of non-essential services. This will take place over the next 48 hours,” she said.

“Supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, freight and logistics, and home delivery will be among the many services that will remain open.

A decision on the closure of NSW schools needs to go to state cabinet, which will be brought forward to tomorrow morning. Ms Berejikllian will then make an announcement.

South Australia to close borders in response to coronavirus pandemic

Declaring a “major emergency”, South Australian authorities have announced tough new measures which will see the state close its borders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Premier Steven Marshall said the measures, which would be in place from 4pm on Tuesday, were being taken in the “interest of … public health”.

The State Government will establish 12 border crossings where travellers will be required to sign a declaration about their health and ability to undertake mandatory self-isolation for two weeks.

Northern Territory is also closing their border on Tuesday.

Meanwhile in New Zealand: Doctor group – raise threat level now or risk becoming like Italy

A group of doctors and other health workers say the Government has just days or hours to prevent New Zealand from following the path of Italy.

They’ve begun a petition, urging the Government to raise New Zealand’s covid-19 threat to the highest possible level, effectively locking down the country.

Dr Kelvin Ward, an urgent care physician in Wellington, handed the first lot of signatures to the Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield after the his daily press conference announcing the number of new Covid-19 cases.

“It’s not hyperbolic to say we have only hours to prevent the inevitable horrors we see in countries that waited too long.”

“Over 2200 people from the medical community have banded together to inform this hardworking government that New Zealand has only a short time to avoid disaster on the scale of Italy’s coronavirus epidemic – that’s how fast this virus spreads,” he said.

Medical Professionals to PM Ardern: 4 measures to protect NZ from COVID19

Let’s stand together as experts of the medical community and call for the New Zealand Government to immediately follow the examples of Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which resulted in successful containment.

Specifically there should be immediate:
1.     Quarantine (not self-isolation) of COVID-19 positive patients
2.     Extensive testing and contact tracing
3.     Self-isolation of all asymptomatic contacts
4.     Mandatory social lockdown

Currently 3,828 signatures.

A few minutes later (5:32 pm) it’s 4,193

Now it’s 38.840 (9:41 pm)

Leave a comment


  1. Duker

     /  22nd March 2020

    Even here
    “A group of doctors and other health workers say the Government has just days or hours to prevent New Zealand from following the path of Italy.

    They’ve begun a petition, urging the Government to raise New Zealand’s covid-19 threat to the highest possible level, effectively locking down the country.”

    If it wasnt so serious I wouldnt laugh…. self styled experts and future predictions are often wrong

    “Extensive research in a wide range of fields shows that many people not only fail to become outstandingly good at what they do, no matter how many years they spend doing it, they frequently don’t even get any better than they were when they started.

    In field after field, when it came to centrally important skills—stockbrokers recommending stocks, parole officers predicting recidivism, college admissions officials judging applicants—people with lots of experience were no better at their jobs than those with very little experience.”

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  22nd March 2020

      These medical experts fail to notice that we are an island, unlike Italy, and that our population is not among the oldest in the world.

      With 0 deaths and no one seriously ill, it’s unjustified to shut down the country and the economy.

    • Pink David

       /  22nd March 2020

      Have these doctors considered the death toll that these draconian measures will cost in their demand?

  2. Geoffrey

     /  22nd March 2020

    Now is not the time to suggest that we should do nothing. The folk behind this petition have already acknowledged that they are impotent without massive social change. Your silly rant Duker does no more than muddy the water. Grow up.

    • Griff.

       /  22nd March 2020

      Some on here think it is no worse than the flu.
      If left unchecked this will overwhelm the health care system in a matter of weeks.
      A surprising number have underlying conditions that make death much more likely from diabetes to asthma.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  22nd March 2020

        The number of deaths is nothing like those for flu. They are overwhelmingly old people in poor health to begin with. It wouldn’t be impossible to isolate those people.

        The others have had it so mildly that they recovered in a few days at home.

        • Griff.

           /  22nd March 2020

          That would be me .
          Ex smoker.
          My sister in law asthma and cancer survivor along with my brother pre diabetic .
          On here .
          Gazzer is an ex smoker
          You are I believe asthmatic.
          High blood pressure hart problems and many other chronic conditions are surprisingly common once you hit your middle ages and on.
          If hospitals get overloaded many will die of accidents and disorders that we will no longer have the capacity to treat.

          [We used their numbers to work out a guesstimate of deaths— indicating about 1.5 million Americans may die. The panelists did not disagree with our estimate. This compares to seasonal flu’s average of 50K Americans per year. Assume 50% of US population, that’s 160M people infected. With 1% mortality rate that’s 1.6M Americans die over the next 12-18 months.]

          Using the same logic.
          50% of 5.5 million and 1% death rate.
          You are talking of about 27,500 extra deaths in NZ over about the next year if this goes uncontrolled.
          That is about the death toll of NZ troops in both world wars.

      • Duker

         /  22nd March 2020

        Where have I said it’s no worse than the flu….
        I bet you are ignorant of the yearly death rate from flu…. I’d rather be informed on what various viruses can do rather than be a 5 min epidemic specialist
        Dead is dead…no need to put one type of death on a pedestal to scare all the school kids

        BTW the rant came from the Smithsonian, the pre eminent US musuem,

  3. artcroft

     /  22nd March 2020

    The health system exists within the wider economy. Its an economic massacre out there. Give up on your economy give up on he health system.

  4. David

     /  22nd March 2020

    Those Dr are bloody ridiculous, instead of shutting the country down how about having every arrival in the country shoved into quarantine for 2 weeks and then we could, with some hard work, keep free of this thing.
    All very well for highly paid quacks to wreak economic harm on all knowing they are comfy financially. Arseholes stick to doing your damn job and maybe insist your “strong” government start bringing in extra resources now given we have this large heads up.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  22nd March 2020

      Yes, since virtually all the cases are being brought in just contain that properly.

  5. oldlaker

     /  22nd March 2020

    Epidemiologist Sir David Skegg today on Newsroom: “All the epidemiologists I talk with expect that community transmission is already occurring, at least in some places. Why should the virus behave differently in New Zealand than elsewhere?”
    “Silent spreaders” are the problem… Anyone can see we’re following Australia and the UK with exponential growth… and we have fewer ICU beds per capita than them
    NZ’s weird exceptionalism on display… we’re an island… we’re different…

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  23rd March 2020

      If silent spreaders are a problem then how and when do you propose to end the lockdown?


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