Medical expert says tougher measures needed or Australia will face ‘disaster’ if NSW does not eliminate Delta strain

Australia cannot live with the Delta strain of Covid-19, and it must be eliminated from New South Wales before the lockdown ends and travel can resume, according to one of the countrys leading doctors.Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid said it would be a “disaster” if the virus continued to spread.
“We would be talking about long-term, significant restrictions on people’s movements from going in and out of lockdown as hospitals fill up with extremely sick people, and a devastating economic impact, not just on NSW but the rest of the country,” he told reporters in Perth on Thursday.
“We would see permanently closed borders between most other states and NSW, which would have a devastating impact on many families and businesses.
“The reality is, the only solution for now, is continue lockdowns until the virus is eliminated and unfortunately, that has not yet been achieved.”
Dr Khorshid said the Delta outbreak was probably the biggest threat to Australia since the pandemic started and NSW would have been in a better position if the lockdown had begun sooner.
“I think the answer to that (question) is unequivocally yes, but this is Australia’s first experience with a significant outbreak of Delta and … lessons had to be learnt,” he said.
Dr Khorshid said tighter restrictions might be needed so that the lockdown does not have to drag on too much longer.
“I really hope that New South Wales is able to eradicate the virus and get back to relatively normal relatively quickly,” he said.
“But it will involve the government putting in very difficult measures.
“We can’t live with this virus. New South Wales certainly can’t live in lockdown until we’re fully vaccinated, so if that means turning up the restrictions, that’s exactly what they should do.”
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Dr Khorshid noted people were still moving around in the community and transmitting the virus throughout Sydney.
“There’s no alternative to elimination for New South Wales and nowhere in the world has any community been able to live with Delta without very significant levels of vaccination,” he said.
“We are simply not ready to live with this Delta strain and we’re already seeing significant numbers of people, around 10 per cent of the cases, already in hospital.
“Just multiply that out to thousands and thousands of cases, which is the inevitable outcome within a very short period of time if restrictions are eased.
“Imagine what the hospital system will look like and imagine what you might experience if you need to go to hospital for urgent care, such as with a heart attack or cancer.”
NSW recorded 38 new locally acquired cases overnight.
Seventeen were in isolation throughout their infectious periods, while nine were in isolation for part of their infectious period and 11 were infectious in the community. One case remains under investigation.