Australia Why one of Australia's top doctors says to 'let Covid run'
India's Covid crisis delivers a blow to brand Modi
Narendra Modi's carefully crafted image has taken a hit as India reels from a punishing Covid wave.The Australian newspaper re-published the story with a scathing summary: "Arrogance, hyper-nationalism and bureaucratic incompetence have combined to create a crisis of epic proportions, critics say, as India's crowd-loving PM basks while citizens literally suffocate.
Victoria's chief health officer has indicated Australia's harsh international border closure isn't the answer to keeping Covid out and that it could be more practical to let the virus run through the community when people are vaccinated.
Professor Brett Sutton attended an event last month where he was filmed stating Australians would need to accept the reality of coronavirus to avoid becoming a hermit nation.
The audio recordings, which were leaked to The Age, suggest Professor Sutton has joined a chorus of many voices urging the Prime Minister to reconsider keeping Australian borders closed until at least mid-2022.
Where will the next COVID hotspots be?
Dr Khan explains how India’s troubles are spreading across the sub-continent, while pregnant women are dying in Brazil.India has seen a rapid and well-publicised increase in COVID cases. After a stepwise easing of restrictions across the country throughout 2020, India’s leader, President Narendra Modi, declared the country was in the “end game” of the pandemic. Soon after this bold statement, large religious and political gatherings were allowed to take place with little regard for social distancing and, inevitably, cases began to soar. On May 3, India hit the grim milestone of 20 million COVID cases, though the true number is thought to be much higher.
'We need to somehow communicate to the public that we've gotten to a place of complacency because we've driven transmission to zero,' he said.
'But, we will face newly emerging transmission, and a critical juncture where we need to make a call on letting it run.'
Professor Sutton suggested the best time to 'let Covid run' through the nation would be after a vaccine had been offered to every Australian.
'I think that'll be when we've got as high vaccination coverage for the adult population as we can possibly get to, so everyone being offered it, and building that confidence in vaccines as much as we can … then we need to really say ''look, we can't sit on our hands here''.'
Prof Sutton, who guided Victoria through two disastrous Covid-19 waves, urged the population to 'step up' and get vaccinated to allow Australia to reopen for international tourism.
Police raid Indian hospital and accuse doctors of 'false scare-mongering' over low oxygen supplies
A small private hospital in India's most populous state is being charged under the National Security Act for sounding the alarm over a lack of oxygen. © N/A Akilesh Pandey's hospital is being charged under the National Security Act for sounding the alarm over the lack of oxygen The director of the Sun Hospital in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh told Sky News he faced being arrested at any time and his business seized after the police laid charges against him.Akilesh Pandey, who owns and runs the hospital in the state's capital, said four of his patients died on a single day when oxygen ran out.
His comments echo those of Nick Coatsworth, Australia's former national deputy chief medical officer, who said the concept of Australia indefinitely eradicating Covid was a 'false idol'.
Instead, he suggested Australians accept the reality of the virus.
'I think we've been incredibly successful but with that success becomes a risk that we will be aiming for something that's essentially not achievable,' he told the Today show.
'Elimination is what we've effectively got in Australia at the moment with no cases, but if we're not going to get to eradication because this virus is going to be circulating in the globe for many years if not indefinitely, then at some point we need to consider that that virus will also be within our own borders.'
In a recent speech delivered at the Royal Australian College of Surgeons annual scientific meeting, Dr Coatsworth warned against a 'vocal few' activist doctors using social media to undermine public confidence in vaccines.
The Indian newsroom counting the uncounted
Local reporters have been counting India's Covid dead, and their figures outstrip official tallies.Waiting in the queue, they noticed two body bags on gurneys. Workers at the hospital in the capital, Gandhinagar, said the patients had died of Covid-19.
'Waiting [to vaccinate] is not a valid option either individually or for public health,' he said.
Dr Coatsworth's comments come after a report that warned Australia could 'lose a decade' and become a 'hermit nation' if the expert advice is largely ignored.
'Ultimately when we allow Covid-19 back on our shores and it circulates in our community, we [need to be] prepared and comfortable for that to happen.'
The federal government has indicated international borders could be re-opened in the first half of next year - based on projections that most of the population will be fully vaccinated by then.
Dr Coatsworth said 'misinformation' from some doctors has the potential to undermine the vaccination national program.
He pointed to some doctors being 'anti' AstraZeneca and deliberately promoting Pfizer as a 'better' option.
'That is not advocacy, it is not policy debate, it is narcissism thinly cloaked as activism,' he told the
'There is a big difference between someone who has a medical degree in a particular sub-specialty to our top vaccination experts.'
America Is Already on the Vaccine Honor System
Vaccination requirements in stores, offices, and schools can offer peace of mind. But they’re rarely going to prove that anyone is vaccinated.Just kidding, it’s a piece of cardstock. On the flimsy rectangle that all Americans get with their shots, doctors and pharmacists record dates of administration, vaccine type, and lot number. Some scrawl the information by hand with a pen; others apply a preprinted sticker. The cards offer no special marker to prove their authenticity, no scannable code to connect to a digital record. At three by four inches, they’re even too awkwardly sized to fit in a wallet.
Dr Coastworth's series of recommendations comes as close to half of the 150 Australians booked on the first repatriation flight home from India on Friday were not allowed to board the plane.
A total of 42 had tested positive for Covid, forcing them to remain in the Covid-ravaged nation, where the reported number of deaths stands at over 266,000 people - and the figure is rapidly rising.
On Friday, former NSW Premier Mike Baird launched a report, dubbed 'A Roadmap to Reopening' which outlined the importance of Australia opening its borders as soon as possible in 2022.
Authors of the detailed report include the likes of respected Sydney based lawyer Mark Rigotti, University of Sydney school of architecture dean Robyn Dowling, and PricewaterhouseCoopers chief executive Tom Seymour, according to
'If Australia is not ready to re-open effectively when the world recovers from the worst of the pandemic, we face enormous dislocation socially and prolonged pain economically,' the report reads.
'We need to move from the anxiety of the last year to a more confident and outward looking future.
'If we do not, it is no exaggeration to say that young people, in particular, face a lost decade.'
The report goes onto suggest a three step approach to re-opening.
Widespread and rapid vaccination is highly recommended, followed by detailed testing of overseas arrivals.
A detailed quarantine system factoring in the needs of different employment industries was also viewed as integral.
'Safe re-engagement requires industry and place-specific strategies anchored in public health principles – by guiding by the objective of reopening our society – not reverting into a hermit nation,' Mr Rigotti said in a statement
As COVID wave rages in Nepal, hospitals run out of beds, oxygen .
Nepal registers record numbers of infections and deaths as a second wave sweeps the Himalayan nation of 30 million.Health experts and front-line medical workers have described the situation as “near-apocalyptic” as they face shortages of hospital beds and oxygen, the national vaccination campaign grinds almost to a halt and the numbers of dead are so high that mass cremations are being held.