Tuesday, 25 August 2020
Questions without Notice
I want to thank the member for Moncrieff, who is focused very strongly on maintaining health care and the activities within her electorate and supporting her electorate residents during the course of the pandemic.
Globally now, this pandemic has reached over 23½ million people. Sadly, over 811,000 lives have been lost. In Australia now, 25,053 cases have been formally diagnosed and 525 lives have been lost. Today there were 151 new cases, one in hotel quarantine. There were six states and territories with zero; one state, New South Wales, with two cases in the community; and one state with 148. That's Victoria. That reflects the trend that we have seen since 1 June. On 1 June, there were 7,370 cases in Victoria. That has grown to over 25,000 cases now, or an increase of 17,683 cases. I say that because 16,811, or 95 per cent of the increase in Australian cases since 1 June, have come from one state, overwhelmingly from one city, and overwhelmingly from one part of one city. Ninety-nine per cent of lives lost since 1 June have been lost in Victoria. So this is very much, sadly and tragically, the issue of one city in one state above all else.
Mr Husic interjecting—
We have seen a 1,000 per cent growth in cases in one state. No other state has had more than 25 per cent growth over the course of the last three months. But what we have done as a country—when we look around the world at those figures—is we have seen a containment strategy based on borders, with 94,000 people that have been through the hotel quarantine program and 2,269 positive cases that have been detected and prevented, through that hotel quarantine program, from escaping into the community. In seven out of eight states and territories, it has worked remarkably well. We know the tragic consequences in one.
We have done 5.8 million tests. It is one of the world's leading testing programs, according to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. With tracing, seven out of eight states and territories have had an extraordinary response, and the difference between Victoria and New South Wales has been the public health units' tracing program. It has prevented an outbreak on a catastrophic scale. Distancing has also been used to protect. All these things have come together to protect Australia. Where two of those elements have not been in place, sadly we have seen tragedies in Victoria.