With a number of cases now confirmed in the Limestone Coast, the COVID-19 pandemic is now well and truly on our doorstep.
During a videoconference with the South Australian Premier earlier this week, Steven Marshall advised me that it is not a matter of “if” we get the virus – it is a matter of “when”.
He went on further to say that 93% of people that get the COVID-19 virus will not require any significant medical treatment. Many of us will not even show any symptoms. The 7% of us that are at risk will need the support of the health system and if they don’t get that support many of them will die.
This is why it is so important that we slow the spread of the virus down, as we need to match the capacity of our health system with the number of patients that will require it over the coming months. The State Government has already bought a number of former hospitals like Wakefield and they are preparing them with hundreds of new beds. They are also buying additional respirators and other equipment with the aim of minimising the mortality rate for the 7% of the population that are at risk. The most important thing we can do as a community is to help slow the spread of the virus so the health system can cope.
I understand that we are all feeling anxious about the months ahead, but please let me assure you that we are in a very fortunate position to be living where we are. Because of where we live, we have had more advance notice of how this virus spreads and what we can do to slow it down than anywhere in the world. Our State and Federal Governments are doing a fantastic job at preparing us for this. They have access to the best advice in the world and I trust them explicitly to guide us through these very challenging times.
That said, it not just up to the Government to manage the spread of this virus. We all have a job to do and I urge each and every one of you to follow the Government’s simple but effective advice - wash your hands regularly, stay at least one and a half metres away from each other, and isolate yourself if you are feeling unwell.
We must slow the spread of this virus down for the sake of the more vulnerable people in our community, and I urge each and every one of you to play your individual part.
For more information on what to do and how you can help, please go to www.australia.gov.au/
WATTLE RANGE COUNCIL