The Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Small Business Dr Steve Thomas says that the Premier Mark McGowan was correct to proceed with the partial easing of COVID restrictions, despite the urgings of the AMA.
“The Premier was right to reject the advice that suggested he was wrong to reduce strict level two restrictions,” said Dr Thomas.
“As much as it may pain me to acknowledge it, I agree with him, but I also ask him to look at the standard of his own modelling and go further.
“The COVID numbers reported over the last week indicate that the previously released modelling from his own Government has proved to be highly accurate, and we can now have enough faith in it to be making good decisions on the pathway out of COVID restrictions.
Dr Thomas said that the modelling had predicted peak COVID infection rates of between 9,770 and 10,956.
Hospitalisation rates have stabilised at just over 200 and ICU numbers are still in single digits.
The Premier was quoted this week as saying, “the most important thing to note now is the hospitalisation rates and the intensive-care rates — and they have remained relatively stable”.
“That is indeed the case,” said Dr Thomas. “I have been saying for weeks that those are the numbers that should be used to determine the restrictions, and I am pleased that he now agrees.”
“The accuracy of the modelling means that we can trust it as the basis for a plan out of COVID, and I support the Premier’s approach to using it as justification to wind down some of the previous COVID restriction,” said Dr Thomas.
“The situation is changing, and this has been highlighted yesterday with the Health Department announcement that they will no longer publish exposure sites.
“This is an admission that we are entering the endemic phase of COVID, and it should see the Premier outlining a timeframe for further easing of restrictions.
“This should include releasing a timeframe for the removal of mask rules, and the thresholds of hospitalisation and ICU cases that will trigger it.
“I also want to see a timeframe presented for the removal of the two square metre rule for businesses,” said Dr Thomas. “This rule continues to undermine business survival at a time that it has lost its value as a preventative measure.
“We need a plan to transition out of restrictions and that plan should have a timeline. The good work in creating accurate modelling deserves an adequate plan in response,” said Dr Thomas.