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Elimination ‘can be done’: Debate over national coronavirus strategy reignites

Health experts are breaking ranks to push for an end to Australia’s COVID-19 suppression strategy.

The national strategy has been the subject of considerable debate among the medical community, but with Victoria experiencing a second wave and NSW at risk of following suit, many are losing confidence in the current approach.

UNSW Strategic Health Policy Consultant Associate Professor Bill Bowtell told Jim Wilson early easing of restrictions was a missed opportunity.

He argues the “rinse-and-repeat” of lockdowns and “confused” suppression measures are ineffective, and Australia should shift strategies.

“We have to face the facts … the virus just gets on with the job.

“I think we have to look very seriously now at eradicating it.

“Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory, [and] Tasmania have eradicated the virus.

“They didn’t mean to, I don’t think, but they got on with it. So it can be done.

“I don’t think we should just carry on as if this is the only way we should work.”

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