Public health measures introduced by Australian State, Territory and Federal governments, working with the Australian community, have significantly reduced the impact of COVID-19 in Australia. In fact, by any global measure the response to date has been a spectacular success. But, this has come at significant economic and broader health cost and, as the second wave in Victoria showed, success can be fragile and requires imposition of strong measures to regain control.
This report finds that high levels of testing, efficient vaccine distribution and addressing pandemic mental health impacts are critical if Australia is to maintain control over COVID-19 in 2021.
- ongoing implementation of comprehensive public health measures, including high levels of testing combined with contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, social distancing and mask-wearing;
- optimal roll-out of vaccines and other interventions as they become available;
- effective prevention and treatment of long-term health issues arising from the pandemic, including mental health and “long” COVID;
- support to other countries in the region;
- sustained and enhanced backing for research and innovation to develop the tools required to tackle the pandemic.