The Australian Medical Association criticizes Dominic Perrottet’s Covid reaction: “ruthless”

The nation’s top medical association has scathingly criticized NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet’s response to Covid and called for a national approach for Omicron that includes mask mandates.

Australian Medical Association President Omar Khorshid said Tuesday that a “stronger national approach” was needed for the new variant, which includes mandatory check-ins, density restrictions for venues and major sporting events, and an indoor mask mandate.

His plea comes the day before a meeting of state and territory leaders with Prime Minister Scott Morrison for a national emergency cabinet meeting amid rising cases.

“Tightening public health restrictions should not be viewed as a political failure,” said Dr. Khorshid.

Camera iconAMA President Omar Khorshid destroyed NSW’s approach. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

“Covid-19 has posed many different challenges to governments and we must be able to respond or we will endanger people’s lives and livelihoods.

“There is growing consensus among key medical experts that we need to do more to slow the spread of Omicron.”

Dr. Khorshid then let loose on Mr Perrottet, saying he had taken a ruthless approach that put residents of his entire state at risk.

Currently in NSW – where 2057 cases were recorded on Tuesday – masks are only highly recommended in areas where social distancing is not possible but is still mandatory on public transport and airplanes.

“DIY contact tracing, weakened check-in requirements, the elimination of masking requirements, and the lifting of density limits all combine to be a recipe for disaster, and when hospital admissions and ICU cases grow past the scale he’s working on – it will be late, “said Dr. Khorshid.

“A much more cautious approach is needed, at least until we know more about Omicron and the severity of the disease.

“The NSW government’s approach so far is risking lives, risking extraordinary health system impacts well into next year, and just makes no sense.”

Dr. Khorshid asked Mr. Perrottet to take further precautions.

“We won’t be able to eliminate Omicron, but there is a lot we can do to slow its spread, ease pressure on the health system, save lives and keep business open,” he said.

“We need to see a booster flash too.

Camera iconPrime Minister Dominic Perrottet puts lives at risk, the AMA claims. NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

“The Commonwealth must reverse the funding cuts it has made on both GPs and pharmacies to help them expand further, while states and territories must also step up their own efforts.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr Perrottet said the health and safety of residents was important.

“But we’re going to make these changes (to the rules) based on fact, not fear,” he said, adding that new models would be presented to the national cabinet on Wednesday.

“The most important thing we can do now is… treat everyone with kindness and respect, and when you are in an environment where social distancing is not possible, we strongly wear a mask.

“We have mandated masks in high risk environments like public transport.

“Whether washing hands, keeping social distance, if we do all of these things we will get through this time.”

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