- Melbourne NewsGreens Urge The State Government For 'A Mask Up' Campaign As Victoria Sleepwalks Towards A Health Crisis
Greens Urge The State Government For 'A Mask Up' Campaign As Victoria Sleepwalks Towards A Health Crisis
Mask on, mask off?
The State Government has said wearing a face mask is a personal choice, despite growing calls for a public campaign.
Victoria’s Premier said earlier in the week that the state government will not reinstate mask mandates despite a recent call from The Greens advocating for a mask wearing campaign.
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Encouraging Victorians to mask up in indoor setting to better protect against a raft of winter ails, the Greens health spokesperson, Dr Tim Read, has urged the state government to do more to reduce the rate of community transmission of COVID and influenza.
“Asking Victorians to mask up for winter, use an air purifier or have a COVID booster or a flu shot, is preferable to asking them to wait longer for an ambulance or a hospital bed when they need one.
“If we’re serious about helping our ambulance and hospital system, we can’t keep watching these numbers increase without doing something," he said.
But Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday said that people should use common sense and learned experiences through lockdown rules to stop the virus’ spread.
“There are some calls for advertising campaigns, I think that every Victoria knows about these issues after having been through the two and a half years that we’ve been through,” he said.
“There are some rules that apply in hospital settings, aged care settings, public transport and people can make a judgment.
“Just as people have made a judgment about whether they can get a flu shot which is now free … and indeed a third (Covid vaccine) dose," he said.
“I just don’t think it’s accurate to say that people don’t know that masks are important.”
- Premier Andrews
It follows a tweet form Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton flagging that we can help ourselves, those around us and healthcare staff by covering up indoors.
“This(sic) not a technical term, but flu vaccination has been ‘going great guns’ — terrific given the early season and significant case numbers,” he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, The Victorian Greens are calling on the government to seek and publicise advice on what more should be done to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses and to fund a program encouraging the community to voluntarily adopt effective low impact measures, such as
- A campaign promoting face masks indoors during winter
- A campaign promoting free influenza vaccination and COVID booster doses
- Pushing employers and venue operators to perform a ventilation analysis and use HEPA air purifiers to reduce virus-containing aerosols on their premises
Dr Read said the more the government does now to reduce transmission with voluntary measures, the less likely we are to face a serious hospital crisis or another Code Brown.
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