Victoria will finally examine NSW’s COVID-19 response, with the Premier on Tuesday confirming teams will be sent to Sydney to observe their contact tracers.
But Daniel Andrews was faced with a series of critical questions about why the move wasn’t made weeks before Victoria’s deadly second coronavirus wave.
While announcing 55 new coronavirus cases and eight more deaths, Daniel Andrews revealed Australian Defence Force personnel and chief scientist Alan Finkel had been in “regular contact” with NSW about their approach in minimising virus transmission and their team would be shadowing the contact tracers there.
“They will again just double and triple check whether there is anything that is different between our response and the response in NSW,” he told reporters on Tuesday morning.
“The other point to make, of course, is they have got case numbers at levels that we are heading towards and there might be, when you are dealing with that particular challenge of very low numbers and trying to keep them very low.
“There may be some insights that they can provide us, given that they are in a different place. All of that though helps to inform a very much tailored response in Victoria to the challenge that we face in terms of levels of community transmission, in terms of some of dynamics and in terms of change of transmission, the mystery cases and where transmission is happening, that is very different in Victoria than any other part of our nation.”
When questioned about why it’s taken until now to shadow contact tracers in NSW, Mr Andrews said the second wave was “very different to the first wave”.
He also hit back at a reporter after he was questioned about whether making the decision to send officials to Sydney earlier could have “prevented the severity of the second wave”.
“I don‘t accept that. I don’t accept that. At all. The key point here is with the amount of community transmission that we’ve got, with the amount of cases that we had, a more centralised model worked and that’s not a matter of my opinion,” he said.
“This is now the time to do this, but there may be other things that I am not announcing today. There may be other things that become clear that there would be a benefit and we’d always reserve the right to make further announcements, refinements. That’s what a culture of continuous improvement is all about.”
A total of 683 Victorians have died from coronavirus.
There are 238 people in hospital and 22 in intensive care.