Governments may order mass vaccinations of entire suburbs, cities or groups of people; sports stadia may be sequestered as quarantine sites; and police could be ordered to guard critical medical supplies under Australia’s pandemic health plans. Under worst-case scenarios being contemplated by state and federal governments, forecasts say a pandemic outbreak could last up to 10 months, and 40% of the country’s workforce could be sidelined by illness or caring for family members. Australia’s GDP could take a 10% hit. The pandemic plans have not yet been scaled up to their highest levels: Australia remains in containment mode and governments have consistently said that Australia is well-placed to deal with any outbreaks. Currently, out of 81,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases worldwide, which have caused more than 2,700 deaths, just 22 have been identified in Australia, with zero deaths. “Pandemic influenza can cause significant disruptions to the way we live as it has the potential to result in high levels of illness and death,” the Victorian government has warned in its action plan for influenza pandemic. “The social distancing measures that may be required will have wide-ranging effects, with closure of schools and childcare services, and cancellation of public events. It is… Read full this story
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