Lisa Wilkinson slams 'untenable' Covid lockdown on The Project
The Project's Lisa Wilkinson has slammed the circumstances that led to Victoria's fourth lockdown, saying, "Every Victorian has a right to feel angry tonight."
The presenter and her fellow Project hosts were presenting a segment on Thursday night's program about the snap lockdown taking place over the next seven days in Victoria.
Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino called the lockdown a "circuit breaker" to stop the spread of the virus following 26 active cases in the state, which was initially sparked by a virus leak in hotel quarantine.
Lisa says people have a 'right to be angry'
"Every Victorian has the right to feel angry tonight... four lockdowns in the space of 12 months is just untenable," Lisa told her co-hosts, who are based in Melbourne, from Sydney.
"Especially when the federal government has been sitting on its hands on this for so long," she added. "The confusing messages over the vaccine rollout, the fact they’re not setting up properly to do the mRNA vaccine here in Australia... just one thing after another, and here we are again."
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Kate Langbroek was equally frustrated, saying, "How annoying to live in the most over-governed country in the world – or one of – and that when you need government, they just can’t do what they need to do. It’s infuriating."
Expert warns lockdown could go longer
The hosts spoke to epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely after attempting to speak with the Prime Minister and some of his ministers, who were seemingly not so keen to appear on the show.
Professor Blakely said lockdowns should only be lifted if the virus outbreak was contained to an average of just five cases a day, which he was unsure would be achieved with the seven-day lockdown.
He added that as only one per cent of Australians are fully vaccinated, a vaccination rate of 30 per cent could have been enough to "dampen the spread".
"Then when we get up to 80 per cent (vaccination rate) or so, that may be enough that we have herd immunity and we’re pretty resilient and we can open our borders," he said. "We’ve got a long way to go to 80 per cent, but just getting to 20-30 per cent will really dampen things down and help with controlling these outbreaks."
In addition to the four reasons to leave the home during the previous lockdowns, which were exercise, shopping for essentials, essential work and caregiving, Victorians aged over 40 are now being urged to leave home to get vaccinated.
The Acting Premier said, "I can't stress this enough. The only pathway through the pandemic is for people to get vaccinated as soon as they're eligible."
People aged between 40 and 49 will have to visit state hubs for their vaccinations with GP clinics reserved for those aged over 50.
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