Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Mon 27 Jul 2020



The Northern Territory news Mon 27 Jul 2020

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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MONDAY JULY 27 2020 OPINION 13 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA VICTORIA is now the deadliest state for the coronavirus. It also has the most incompetent and deceptive government. On Sunday, we saw the same circus after Premier Daniel Andrews said a further 10 Victorians had died, pushing the states toll to 71. This is the state government that makes fit healthy people wear face masks even when alone in the open air while leaving open the door to nursing homes. Killing zones. From the start, our governments had two main jobs: keep the sick in strict quarantine, and keep the most vulnerable safe. The rest of us could then keep working and earning, provided we washed our hands and kept our social distance. But on Sunday, Andrews seized on an outlier death of a man in his 40s to push his bizarre message so egalitarian! that this virus is a deadly danger to all: This does not discriminate on age. Nonsense. This virus discriminates even more than the flu, which last year killed 902 Australians, including children. How convenient for Andrews that he claimed not to know whether this man in his 40s Australias youngest victim by far had underlying medical conditions. But either way, his death is an anomaly. The vast majority of the dead in Victorias second wave were over 80. In fact, at least half of the 22 dead since Friday were in nursing homes, and a further 560 residents and staff are sick. How did that happen? In NSW, 29 people died in nursing homes. That should have been a warning to shut off aged care homes, train and test staff, and stop them from working when sick. None of that was done in Victoria until this past week. Andrews has excuses. Nursing homes are private businesses not accountable to us. And he has scapegoats. Young Victorians are not following the rules. But people arent dying in nursing homes because some teenagers wont wear face masks in the open air. Theyre dying because the Andrews Government did not run its quarantine hotels properly, did not ensure sick people stayed home and did not make sure nursing homes were sealed off. True, younger people can also die, but last week we got two huge warnings that we cant keep fighting the virus in this blunderbuss way. First, we were told the cost so far of fighting outbreaks by shutting down parts of the economy. More than 700,000 Australians put out of work. Deep recession. The biggest government deficit since World War II. But a second revelation got astonishingly little publicity. Dr Kerry Chant, chief health officer for NSW, said up to 250,000 Australians may have already caught the coronavirus even though our tests picked up just 14,000. Chant said a survey of pathology tests and blood samples from pregnant women suggested about 1 per cent of Australians may have been infected and never knew it. True, this survey is incomplete and limited to Sydney. But if 250,000 is remotely right, the mortality rate from the coronavirus is little worse than a severe flu. More importantly, it would confirm theres a big hole in our virus tests. People generally get tested only when they feel a bit sick, and go to a testing station to have a swab stuck up their nose. It then takes one to three days for their results, or even longer, admits Victorias Health Department. In that time, more than half dont stay at home. But as a New England Journal of Medicine study confirms, its during those first three days of feeling sick that people are most infectious. Yes, before many get their results. Clearly, we need a test thats almost instant, and the good news is there are some. With one, you just spit on a strip of paper and wait 10 to 20 minutes. So why arent our governments getting us to use them? One big reason is that these tests arent as sensitive as the swabup-your nose. But as Michael Mina, assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, says: so what? This paper test works when people are most infectious, and is so cheap and easy it can be used daily, just out of curiosity. The official tests are more sensitive, but whats the point if most people dont take them, or dont get results until too late and when theyre no longer very infectious? True, do-it-yourself tests require governments to trust the public. But is that worse than trusting a government like Victorias? It is no coincidence that the deadliest state in the nation is the one with the most incompetent leadership Andrews fails, Victoria pays ANDREW BOLT Premier Daniel Andrews is stretching for excuses. Picture: GETTY ANDREWS HAS EXCUSES AND HE HAS SCAPEGOATS. YOUNG VICTORIANS ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE RULES. BUT PEOPLE ARENT DYING IN NURSING HOMES BECAUSE SOME TEENAGERS WONT WEAR FACE MASKS IN THE OPEN AIR. THEYRE DYING BECAUSE THE ANDREWS GOVERNMENT DID NOT RUN ITS QUARANTINE HOTELS PROPERLY, DID NOT ENSURE SICK PEOPLE STAYED HOME AND DID NOT MAKE SURE NURSING HOMES WERE SEALED OFF ANDREW BOLT Putting the pandemic toll into proper perspective A U S T R A L I A N S c a n t leave their country and cant travel freely inside it because 155 people have died this year from the coronavirus. Meanwhile, in the first four months of this year, 3937 Australians died of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, influenza, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Some of those are communicable, too. But we didnt shut businesses down for them. Last year 902 Australians died from influenza. Thats also a coronavirus that kills mainly the old. Did premiers daily list those dead, too? Last year, about 3000 Australians died from suicide. But to fight the coronavirus, politicians peddle fear, hopelessness and laws forcing people to stay at home, often alone or without a job. In 2018, 438 Australian heroin users died. But the Greens say addicts shouldnt be locked up. Last year, nearly 1200 Australians died in car accidents. But the convenience of driving is too great to make people stay home. In 2018, 47,310 Australians died of cancer. Were spending $200bn and more on fighting this coronavirus instead. In May, the Sydney Morning Herald citing a deputy chief medical officer said 50,000 to 150,000 Australians would die from this virus. Perspectives are important. TO FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS, POLITICIANS PEDDLE FEAR, HOPELESSNESS AND LAWS FORCING PEOPLE TO STAY HOME ANDREW BOLT '' ''