The lessons from overseas are clear: unless Australians comprehensively comply with spatial distancing, those measures won’t work and our hospitals will be over-run.
Articles from Grattan Blog
Workers affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis can now access up to $20,000 of their super to help see them through. It's a good move.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia has been doubling every 3-to-4 days. This is not surprising: the slowly-increasing measures put in place over the past week by the federal and state governments will take time to slow the growth of case numbers. But we should be clear: a shutdown of anything that isn’t truly essential will be needed to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system. In the coming days and weeks, the number of Australians diagnosed with COVID-19 will rise quickly.
Australia is only in the middle of the pack in terms of the fiscal measures announced to date. Australia’s total package is less than half that of the UK and Spain but larger than Canada and New Zealand.
It’s clear than many Australian households will need help if they loose their livelihoods through the COVID-19 crisis. They should be a high priority for the Morrison Government as it puts together its second economic support package.
The less people are physically near each other, the lower the rate of transmission of coronavirus. That’s why ‘social distancing’ – or more accurately, spatial distancing – is a key strategy to slow the spread of the virus.
As COVID-19 spreads, governments around the world are opening their wallets and leaning on their balance sheets to protect their economies from the full financial impact of the crisis.
The impact of the new measures by the Australian Government will take time to show up in official COVID-19 cases. It’s a step in the right direction, but we are unlikely to see the flow-through to lower case numbers for another week.
Australia currently has 100 diagnosed cases of coronavirus, as of 10 March. Countries that have hit the 100 case threshold fall into two camps: those that saw rapid spread of the disease, and those with a managed case load. Australia should act as soon as possible to ensure we join the latter camp.