Victoria’s covid goal too hard, says WHO adviser Dale Fisher

Victoria’s covid goal too hard, says WHO adviser Dale Fisher. By Stephen Lunn.

A senior World Health Organisation adviser has warned that Victoria’s targets for easing lockdown are “very challenging” and the state should instead boost its capacity to manage outbreaks to live with higher infection rates.

Dale Fisher, who ran Singapore’s early successful COVID-19 program, said it was not clear why there needed to be fewer than five daily infections before a curfew and stay-at-home restrictions in Melbourne could be lifted.

“Why does (Daniel Andrews) need the numbers to be so low, to be less than five,” Professor Fisher said. “Why can’t it be less than 10 or less than 20? He would probably say that, above that, you exceed the capacity to manage.

“You don’t have to be an infectious disease professor to realise: increase your capacity to manage.

“If the concern is that the ­contact-tracing teams will get overwhelmed, you simply wonder why you can’t have more contact-tracing teams.”

The Victorians also refused outside help for too long.