The Greens have accused Daniel Andrews of taking his eye off Covid and are demanding a crackdown on mask wearing on public transport. Victorian M
The Greens have accused Daniel Andrews of taking his eye off Covid and are demanding a crackdown on mask wearing on public transport.
Victorian MP Tim Reed wants the Andrews Government to start a new campaign ahead of winter that would involve promoting wearing masks indoors, free flu shots, and a renewed push for Covid booster doses.
They also want offices and hospitality venues to be required to use HEPA filters in air-conditioning on their premises and conduct ventilation analysis.
Data shows Victorians have paid less than 10 per cent of Covid-linked fines issued in 2021 (pictured: officers patrol transport in Melbourne in 2021)
‘If we’re serious about helping our ambulance and hospital system, we can’t keep watching these numbers increase without doing something,’ Dr Read told The Herald Sun.
‘In mid-March, we had 175 Covid cases in hospital and that’s gone up to 571 which is like closing a very large hospital just when we need it most.’
Premier Daniel Andrews fired back that the Greens were just trying to create a point of division ahead of the state election in November.
‘That’s just pure rank politics… I won’t be following the advice of the Green political party, I will instead consult with medical experts and I don’t think Victorians would want it any other way,’ he said.
Data shows that of the 11,362 Covid-linked fines issued in Victoria in 2021 only about six per cent had been paid, raising questions as to how effective the fines were.
Greens MP Dr Tim Reed (pictured)wants the Andrews government to crack down on Covid rules going into winter
The Victorian Government figures show 2,321 fines were withdrawn by authorities and, as of March, 8,200 were outstanding.
Of those about 1,450 were fines for not wearing a mask in a required setting.
The Victorian Government said it was running radio, television and print ads promoting masks, social distancing, and vaccination.
‘We are investing $12bn to increase staffing, perform more surgery, build new hospitals, provide important upgrades at regional hospitals and boost local public health units,’ it said.
Premier Dan Andrews (pictured) said he ‘wouldn’t be taking advice from the Greens but from health professionals’
Australian Medical Association Victoria president Roderick McRae said he would welcome any further measures to support a healthcare sector strained by demand and staff shortages ahead of winter.
In Victoria, masks are no longer required in schools, retail, hospitality, and almost all other indoor areas.
But the measure is still mandatory on public transport including at airports, and in aged care facilities, hospitals, and other medical facilities.