The Minister for Health’s comment in today’s Sunday Times that “it’s not helpful to the community,” to share their Omicron modelling is a slap in the face to many Western Australians who feel betrayed by the McGowan Government’s border backflip.
“To be deliberately withholding information in this way again highlights how this government has failed its promise of gold standard transparency,” Shadow for Health Libby Mettam said.
“What is not helpful to the community is that after two years the McGowan Government has no plan to live with COVID, no plan for the way forward.
“No thresholds, no timeframes, but just more of the same fear rhetoric and comparisons with states more than three times the size and an approach that is not comparable.
“No one is suggesting a “let it rip strategy” but rather a measured approach, as adopted in South Australia, which currently has just over 218 cases in hospital and are continuing to ease restrictions.
“WA’s Chief Health Officer, the AMA, and many doctors have raised concerns about the challenge of the waning immunity from March, as well as the merits of ensuring we are not dealing with a COVID peak alongside the winter flu season.
“February 5 was selected as a date based on the fact we would have, according to UWA Professor George Milne, a level of immunity that it’s hard to get higher than, as well as ensuring we are not managing the COVID peak while during a more challenging winter flu season.*
“While the McGowan Government has not been transparent with any modelling, Professor George Milne, has done his own modelling for WA which predicts 430 cases at the peak and 43 cases in ICU.”
Me Mettam said last week’s chaos across our school sector underlined the fact that the McGowan Government has not used the last two years to prepare.
“Delaying the transition from the current 14 day isolation requirement to 7 days continues to hit families, workers and businesses hard with little justification, Ms Mettam said.
“Given our current worker shortages, if 7 days isolation is good enough for when we have higher caseloads then surely it’s good enough for right now.”