Australian News

Victoria’s chief medical officer slams beachgoers’ behaviour, St Kilda beach closes

NSW Health Communicable Diseases Branch Dr Vicky Sheppard has ripped into Australians who stole hand sanitiser off hospital shelves.

“It is of great concern to our health staff that things like hand sanitiser and masks and gloves are being taken from our health facilities,” Dr. Sheppard said on live TV this morning.

“I would implore people in the community that it is our frontline health staff who need to have these suppliers.

“The hand sanitiser is an appropriate thing to use in the community but people in the community can also use soap and water.

“So it is essential that these suppliers are left in hospitals and that they are there for our health professionals to use, because they are the ones who are at highest risk of Covid-19 if they do not have the appropriate protective equipment and protective measures to keep them safe.”

Dr Sheppard wasn’t the only top doctor to slam selfish Australian behaviour, with Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer joining the chorus.

In some of the most strongly worded language used by health authorities to date, Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton warned the “really crap” behaviour of some Victorians could lead to “thousands of deaths”.

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Dr Sutton slammed the behaviour of beachgoers in an extraordinary spray after crowds made a mockery of social distancing rules.

“Some of the behaviour today — when we’re asking people to stay home — has been really crap,” Professor Sutton said on Twitter.

“It’s hard to change habits and it’s hard to see dangers that aren’t apparent yet. But with 3,000 cases of COVID in Australia this week, we’re headed to 100,000 in 2-3 weeks without change.

“That means thousands of deaths. Overwhelmed health services. Medical staff at unacceptable risk. Unstoppable spread.

“Do the right thing now and #StayAtHome. Today. Tomorrow. Until we’re through this, please.”

Port Philip Council was forced to close Melbourne’s popular St Kilda beach to the public yesterday after people ignored orders to stay at least 1.5m away from each other to help stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

State authorities also announced new on-the-spot fines for those who breached those rules.

Other beaches around Victoria remain open with the state government warning if people continue to act irresponsibly it won’t hesitate to enforce a blanket ban.

Victoria Police have so far carried out 2,600 checks to make sure people were complying with self-quarantine rules, Police Minister Lisa Neville said on Saturday.

She said police would visit Victorian beaches over the weekend to make sure people were complying with social distancing rules.

Victoria yesterday recorded its biggest rise in coronavirus in a day with 111 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 685.

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