Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has taken a swipe at doomsday predictions from infectious disease experts.
As the government prepares to roll out a coronavirus vaccine from February, Mr Hunt is urging people to take advice from the nation’s top medical advisers.
“There are some commentators that predicted that there’d be 3000 cases in NSW on the 8th of January and I believe there was one case,” Mr Hunt said.
“There are some widely quoted commentators who may have predicted 400,000 lives lost and that is clearly incorrect … who said we would run out of ventilators in April?”
Mr Hunt said although people had different views on COVID-19, many had proven to be wrong.
“I would urge everyone to listen carefully to the advice of the Australian medical regulators and Australian government medical advisers,” Mr Hunt said.
“They are the ones, who in my view, are the best in the world.
“The most credible in the world and have helped deliver … arguably one of the best outcomes.”
The government will next week enable general practitioners to register to give coronavirus vaccines.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Karen Price said GPs were well placed to assist in the vaccine rollout.
“We know there’s going to be a lot of education required and that’s part of our super strength as GPs,” Dr Price said.
“It’s what we do every day, we help with health literacy and help people understand what might be a complex public health situation.”
Australia on Tuesday recorded six cases of community transmission, and one Australian is in intensive care.
More than 60,000 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, with the highest rates in Victoria.
All jurisdictions including Western Australia, which has the lowest testing rate in the country, have been encouraged to improve their rates.
Mr Hunt on Tuesday announced the government would provide $10 million each for a new national diabetes research centre and a cardiovascular disease research centre.
A further $18 million has been earmarked for research programs.