Members of the Australian Covid Doctors Network in Melbourne have written to Victorian State Premier Daniel Andrews saying that not all doctors are in agreement with the decision to keep people in their homes.
The five-page letter says: “We, the undersigned, are senior medical practitioners of various specialities who practice in Victoria and are deeply concerned with the Victorian government’s management of the SARS- CoV-2 (Covid-19) viral pandemic as a public health issue.
“The purpose of this letter is to make you aware that not all medical practitioners are in agreement with the Chief Medical Officer and the Victorian government regarding the most effective way to control this disease.
“We believe that an alternative medical response is required that reflects what we know about the spread of the virus, those who have died from it, and the impact that the stage 3-4 lockdown restrictions are having on the physical and mental health of the general population.
“For the sake of people in Victoria with other medical illnesses, it is vital that Stage 4 restrictions be lifted on schedule in mid-September.”
Download the full letter here.
In addition, says the doctors, the stage 4 lockdown policy has caused unprecedented negative economic and social outcomes in people, which in themselves are having negative health outcomes.
“In particular, it has caused or exacerbated depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, as well as contributed to domestic violence, through an extreme and unjustified disruption to family, social and work life. Job losses, home schooling, the isolation of the elderly and single people and the restriction on the number of people who may attend funerals, are but a few examples of how the government’s current response is harming the health of the general population.
“In short, the medical, psychological and social costs of the lockdown are disproportionately enormous compared to the limited good being done by current policies, and are relevant factors to be taken into account by any responsible government.”
The vast majority of deaths in Victoria associated with Covid-19 have occurred in frail people over 80 years, say the doctors, many of whom also had significant co-morbidities. In Victoria more than 73% of known Covid-19 deaths resided in nursing homes. (381 out of 524 and 30 out of 52 in NSW, as of 30th of August).
In conclusion, the doctors say the “virus is not going away” and that the current (Australian) government policy is “ill focussed, heavy handed, and unjustifiable as a proportionate response to the risks posed by Covid-19 to the public’s health”.