Are we just going to have to get used to dealing with outbreaks?
So one of the things that Australia has really relied on throughout the hall coronavirus pandemic sci-fi is lockdown as a way of getting a handle on what's happening and keeping cases to a minimum. We've seen that really happening in Victoria and a few days ago a special envoy from the World Health Organization was talking about how lockdowns shouldn't be the only sort of tool. That countries used to Cape a handle on the coronavirus and I think that some people in Victoria have sort of used those comments from the WHO as a reason to sort of say, we should be lifting Victoria's lockdown now but it's a bit more nuanced than that. Isn't it? This nuanced? We went into lockdown in March largely to stop the growing pandemic but also to allow the infrastructure for contracting testing to get into place, which is what the WHO, who say. There was an outbreak in Victoria now that I break in Victoria would have killed many many more people had they not to lockdown but in part the outbreak was due to a failure in contracting and testing at that time. So in many ways, they fulfilled whol criteria for lockdown, which is time to get your contact tracing and testing into shape, and in fact, through the second wave in. Victoria that's indeed what they've done some situation where Victoria New South. Wales are pretty XY Pixie in terms of unknown cases number of cases a day. Sorry Pixie. What the hell does that mean some kind of Scottish thing I grew up with meeting. You know roughly equal fair fair enough trying to get a new phrase into the Australian dictionary from Scotland. Anyway. Back to the point the point being. That, you said whereas in Victoria roughly equal and the argument is probably quite well made that there's not a lot of reason why you shouldn't have the restrictions roughly the same in both states the problem of Victoria is you don't WanNa let the break off suddenly because people will just start turning up on masters include a beach which means crowding into trams, etc, etc. so you've got up. Do fairly slowly and carefully, but the endpoint quite soon could be a similar situation to New South. Wales. But we've got to get used to and it's not a trivial phrase a new covid normal. We promised a few days ago that we were going to stop comparing new, south Wales and Victoria, but let's just do it one more time new south. Wales does seem to have like you say. Exceed Pixie level of similar levels virus to what we're seeing in Victoria or at least the confirmed cases that are coming through, and they don't have as many restrictions on them, and we do know as well that it's probably at least a year before we're going to have any kind of vaccine available to that sort of like what we're thinking of as being a trigger for going back to what we used to have as a normal life is what's happening in New South. Wales. Perhaps, a model for what Ustralia could look like over the next year. Well, I think West Australians queenslanders south. Australians would bridal a that because they've got almost nothing happening and they're saying, well, why should we have? Wills has belichick focused on new, south Wales and Victoria for the moment. But I think it is something that queenslanders and others need to be cognizant off is this something we should get used to what we're talking about here for people who don't live in New South Wales is an outbreak from GP clinic now, getting used to is different from getting complacent. So yes I think you gotta get used to the fact that there will be small outbreaks but what we should not do tolerate them and so they're. They're not to be tolerated and our behavior needs to change in the short to medium term which is. Continuing careful social distancing. I believe in new. South. Wales. It should be mandatory mask in public transport just as an extra layer of security. You don't seem to be going that way and really getting on top of outbreaks and people being prepared to get tested if symptoms are in areas where there are outbreaks and if we can do that, then we can cope with these outbreaks but we can't just say. Another outbreak. Let's move on. It's another outbreak. Oh, this could be the moment where this could be the hotel quarantine equivalent moment that we hadn't. In Victoria, whereas if we ignore it is going to get out of control. So get used to not really be able to deal with yes. But just quickly on that, we're talking about being able to be responsive to outbreaks but we see in Shepperton in regional Victoria, they had a the little outbreak happening there people have told to go on to get tested they've gone to go and get tested. They've done what's been asked but they haven't been. Able to access testing this huge queues, how are we going to be out of style up to these? Well, that's for health departments to sort out, but they've got to be ready for particularly in rural and regional areas because this is something that you just need one truck driver to have arrived in a place in spread it and we've already seen somebody hiding away in trying to get into Queensland you just need one person and to move into our networks and off. So everywhere it's got to be ready and you to be ready for scale up and a plan for scale up so. Somebody throws a switch and people start with doing and they set up to prop up clinics, and within a few hours you've got it all going and that's what people have got to plan for and the best thing that can happen is you never have to institute your emergency response, but your emergency response has got to be really Schmidt and if he wants to know. More about how we've tooled up for contact tracing, how good it is, they listen to yesterday's Khurana cast with Ryan McIntyre where we covered a lot of these issues and that chat with Rhino was so interesting and there was stuff in there that we couldn't fit into yesterday's show. So we thought we'd bring it back again in prerecorded form to answer a question from Ingrid. Where Ingrid's ask if a person who has the virus uses a toilet does the next person inhale the virus spray in the toilet is flushed with the lead up and is the virus in urine faeces? Yum. This is just the sort of question that croquettes listeners love energy with toilets. Let's have a listen to yesterday's comments by Rhino McIntyre, which weren't in the krona cast. So this is a bonus we're talking about. And toilets on aeroplanes. We do know that there is a risk with closed transport vehicles with its planes buses. There's been a number of outbreaks already described on airplanes on buses and other vehicles including A. A navy ship whether it was a very, very high tech right? the Theodore Roosevelt in the US. The risk isn't just from Aerosol, droplets spread I mean we know that the highest risk isn't people sitting closest to the infected person and that's been born out in previous studies with diseases like to book your license and Maizels. But the toilet is also respected. There was one study where they were known infected people on board everybody was wearing a mosque and one of the people who became infected took the mosque off in the toilet. So we know that flushing the toilet can create aerosolize -ation. Probably. Less. So on an airplane toilet because of the nature of those toilets that don't have water swilling around, but they still would be rissole generation from the flushing action. So, the hall toilet is probably highly contaminated. So even if you wash your hands afterwards, you could breathe in contaminated aerosols than when you come out even just touching the door handle would be a risk. So that's that's probably one of the real hot spots on an airplane. That was Professor Rhino McIntyre who is professor of global biosecurity at Curbing University of New South Wales