The Ease of COVID-19 Restrictions
It has been almost two weeks since the last reported case of COVID-19 in South Australia. The idea of life going "back to normal" looks like it could be in our near future. The National Cabinet met last week to discuss Australia's current COVID-19 response, easing restrictions to help create safe working environments and plan to get the economy moving again. The Australian Government COVID-19 media addressed some of the key restrictions that will be eased and new programs that will be developed. They included;
- $48.1 million in funding for the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan. The plan will support services available in homes, workplaces, aged care, schools, and other community sites with a specific focus on vulnerable groups.
- Elective surgeries to commence in stages.
- Framework for remote area travel restrictions.
- SA-Health's COVID-19 testing regime will be extended with focussed testing of specific groups in South Australia. The groups include health care workers, residential aged care workers, transport workers, prison inmates, seasonal workers, and people who are homeless.
Despite the ease of restrictions, this does not disregard all the safety measures and percussions previously set. COVID-19 remains an immediate threat, especially for vulnerable individuals who are at greater risk of more severe illness and immunocompromised. The Australian Government’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, released a statement with a warning about complacency, it reads;
"Relaxing restrictions have been made possible because the overwhelming majority of Australians are doing the right thing by practicing good hygiene and physical distancing. It is also due to governments and the health care sector greatly increasing our ability to quickly respond to future outbreaks. While this is good news, it is very important people do not get overly excited. This is just the next phase in our response to the coronavirus pandemic, and we need to remain vigilant. It is very important all Australians keep doing all the important things they are doing to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Other countries that have experienced success and thought they were safely on the right track have suffered major setbacks".