AMA head: Victoria “hearbeat from catastrophe”

Horrible stuff at News:

Australia’s leading doctor appeared to be on the verge of tears this morning as he described an impending disaster in Victoria.

Tony Bartone, the president of the Australian Medical Association, said there has been an “astronomical explosion” in cases in the state’s care homes.

“Our residents in aged care facilities are just a heartbeat away from calamity,” he told, with his voice cracking in emotion, the Today show this morning.

“We have seen this astronomical explosion in cases there. The PPE is not being worn. Infection control procedures are not being implemented in some.

“This is just absolutely unsustainable and we are just going to see the (case) numbers continue to rise.”

Host Karl Stefanovic was visibly taken aback by Dr Bartone’s emotion.

“That man is considered, that man is knowledgeable, and that man is incredibly worried,” he said. “Incredibly worried. He’s saying we need help. We need help here in Victoria.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said yesterday there were 45 coronavirus outbreaks in aged care homes in Victoria and a total of 300 positive cases.

Public trust is collapsing:

A Newspoll published Tuesday in The Australian showed things have only worsened, with a dire net satisfaction rating for Mr Andrews’ leadership of 20, compared to 58 at the end of April.

Following the successful flattening of the curve a few months back, Mr Andrews ranked as one of the most popular leaders in the country, with his approval rating higher than Mr Morrison’s on occasion.

The second wave of infection and the stage 3 lockdown of Greater Melbourne saw those fortunes reverse sharply. It now appears that the level of community trust in the Premier is sliding while anger continues to boil over.

How can such discredited figure rally community support for a more severe lockdown? I see it everywhere, every day. Victorians are far more active than they were in the first version. Though at least the masks have come out in the last 24 hours.

This lockdown has no end in sight, at The Australian:

Victorians could face restrictions until Christmas as the Andrews government struggles to suppress the spread of the coronavirus, with the state reporting a national daily record of 484 infections.

The possibility of restrictions lasting many months, even if the current lockdown is eventually relaxed, have been discussed at the highest levels of government.

Senior government figures said Premier Daniel Andrews wanted daily case numbers “in the single digits” before reopening the economy — a similar position to NSW which has so far managed to contain the spread of infections.

I still think that Sydney will follow.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. If too many aged care facility residents die, that will be a serious problem.

    We may need to import large numbers of foreign pensioners to avoid the retirement village portfolios severely being devalued.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      And what will we do with all the imports who won’t have anyone to look after anymore? Coronavirus is shredding LNP policy of 20 years standing.

      • LNP has been accidentally successful anyway – just did things to pump private debt and things worked better than they thought….hardly leadership…yes, Labor did much the same – Straya


      Could be a massive issue for the facility business offices (and A gov’t) as many residents pay refundable accomodation deposits that rival house prices ( read astronomical) that are refundable in their entirety when the resident ‘leaves’.
      Fortunately, these deposits are ‘backed’ by the A Gov’t but if refunds occur above ‘expectation’, many facilities will be in serious trouble.

      • And good riddance. Hideous places of staff exploitation and neglected inmates – prisons that none escape from.

    • Anyone in their 70’s or 80’s still living in their own home will undoubtedly delay their planned move into aged care by several years. Aged care facilities will have no new residents until 2025.

  2. Rowan McKenzie

    Cases in the single digits is an essentially impossible and pointless measure, and shows that Dan Andrews is totally out of his depth. If those cases are in 20 year olds, its totally different from those cases being in 90 year olds.

    Why not target something like fewer than 100 people being in the ICU due to COVID? Or fewer than 5% of tests coming back positive?

    Why are there no widespread serological tests to see how far the virus has already spread in Melbourne, and what level of immunity might already exist? Why are there still no lockdowns of nursing homes, and staff allowed to go from workplace to workplace? This is just basic stuff that was done in Europe in the first month.

    • Failed Baby BoomerMEMBER

      Rowan, Well stated;” Why not target something like fewer than 100 people being in the ICU due to COVID? Or fewer than 5% of tests coming back positive?”
      We are monitoring the wrong KPI data and it is leading to false expectations and unrealistic lockdown requirements.
      As far as deaths are concerned, we should focus on excess deaths.
      There are enough examples of alternative strategies from overseas countries which are ahead of us on the curve.
      We have to take the long view here – it will be a long time before a vaccine can save us and some sort of near-herd immunity may an option.

      • The lag makes that infeasible.
        It can take 5-20 days for symptoms.
        And it spreads rapidly when allowed.
        How are you going to project ICU requirements 5-20 days in advance when you could have 50x growth in that time?

    • QuentinMEMBER

      It seems very arbitrary. Good luck fending off civil disobedience from a population in some form of lockdown from March up to and including Christmas (not to mention the destroyed economy). In the absence of eradication strategy, you can’t run this ‘one case is one case too many’ mindset.

      Germany; 4th largest economy in the World, 474 cases yesterday. Getting on with life.
      Switzerland; 108 cases, can enter their borders without quarantine.

      The first step to take is psychological. Acceptance and agreeing to move forward. Australia has months of economic and health side affects before we have to face the inevitable it seems…

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        The difference is their number of new cases are not doubling every week like Victoria.

        • So the solution is to delay those new cases for some time in the future while there is still ICU capacity currently? With all the additional huge costs of lockdown. The virus will not lose an appetite for warm bodies to infect unless some of those bodies become immune; like the curve reductions you note in Europe.
          In the absence of elimination strategy (which I don’t see viable with Vic case numbers), the first step to take is a psychological one; but I see it nowhere in Oz. Still the ‘one case is one case too many’ mindset…

      • comparing Germany numbers – a country of 83 million people.. to Victoria? what is this garbage?

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          You’re correct. We have to lift Victoria’s population to 83 million so as measure our success against the rest of the world.

          Scummo will love this one.

          • Look at you… still trying to think of reasons why we should have population growth.

            A true Big Australia believer knows that it is as inevitable as the rotation of the planets.

      • Victoria has neither the beds nor staff to cope. Already medical and nursing staff are sick in numbers sufficient to pull doctors back from maternity leave to work all hours god made. Get a grip, are you going to vo,under nursing a covid with diarhea in dreadful pain struggling for breathe? Otherswise you have no skin in the game and it’s just wanking.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        Swedish citizens did a whole lot of distancing and staying at home despite their government’s policies.
        Swedes still have a cohesive culture.

        • PaperRooDogMEMBER

          Also I think their more, dare I say, socialist system means citizens have more ability to stay home while those more neoliberal countries eg Aus, US, UK that offer less support where more people are lower paid, part time, multiple job workers in the gig economy means they have to go back to work sooner thus more likely to spread, the sort of workers more likely to live in the northern burbs of Mel, west of Syd etc

        • “Swedes still have a cohesive culture” Spot on and the key to it all.

          Swedes at the end of WW2 had a population of 8 million – same as Straya’s. Sweden’s pop today is only slightly higher, Straya’s has trippled.

          What we’re witnessing is the result of a 50 year population/immigration Ponzi, ramped up to insane heights since Howard, that has destroyed Australia’s cultural cohesion.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      “ Why are there no widespread serological tests to see how far the virus has already spread in Melbourne.”
      Because they are not very accurate.

      • Antibody test typically produce a couple percent false positives. So until you reach 10% infection rate you over estimate infections and underestimate death rate.

    • Pfh007.MEMBER

      Fill the Murray with diesel and set it alight.

      Or build an ice wall along the Murray and keep those southern wildings and Toorak white walkers far away from Australia’s most exciting and interesting city.

    • Torchwood1979

      Palaszczuk should shut the NSW/QLD border again too because up here in Brisvegas social distancing in almost non-existent.

      After only three days back in the office I’ve literally only seen two other people wearing masks. Today I waited as four totally packed buses to leave Roma St before I got on one that I could somewhat distance from others, but still nowhere near 1.5m. Also a schoolkid on my train carriage was sneezing and wiping her nose on her arm that was then dutifully rested on the seat.

      One of my daughters friends had a mild fever on the weekend and the parents couldn’t be bothered taking her to get tested because it would involve a phone call, filling in paperwork and then a 10 minute drive and they’d have to keep her home until the test results came back. Little Miss Saturday Fever was back at school hugging everyone on Monday because the parents didn’t want any inconvenience. And this family had been in Coffs Harbour only a week earlier visiting the grandparents.

      If (or more likely when) COVID-19 starts community transmission in Brisbane the beast will be loose in too many places before it’s picked up.

      • Side DishMEMBER

        FanF##king tastic one of our receptionists was in Coffs Harbour for a Netball tournament on the weekend.
        We have 400-600 patients through our clinic doors every week. That would not be good.

    • PaperRooDogMEMBER

      We get a nice warm feeling that we are doing something by slowing the cars down & asking a few questions, then waving them through?

  3. The PPE is not being worn. Infection control procedures are not being implemented in some.

    If this is the case, who is accountability for correct procedures in these homes and what legal ramifications might there be?

  4. The difference between the two waves is the demographics. First wave was wealthier people who returned home from overseas. Second wave are people not as wealthy. We are following what has happened in Singapore where the cases are headed towards 50,000. Victoria has the second highest house prices with the second lowest household income in Australia. Basically this had made the perfect storm of high inequality and large numbers are people needed to work two jobs just to make ends meet.

    • Shades of MessinaMEMBER

      Not really – 95%+ of cases happened in the cramped living conditions of workers dorms.

      No real equivalent in Melbourne apart from the public commission flats which might explain why they were sk heavy handed there.

      The public might be shocked and dismayed with the Politicians, but they also aren’t doing the most basic things to help themselves.

      Let it rip might now be the only option unless you can impose martial law. Come to think of it, maybe this is where Dan’s OBOR agreement might come in handy !.


        I’m torn between dealing with the problem or.. just letting it rip and letting Australia have it’s guns again.

      • mild coronaMEMBER

        SoM, you haven’t read mikemb on here? There is an outer suburban ring of visa holders living in cramped quarters in houses in both Sydney and Melbourne. if anything I would assume the Singaporean accommodation might be less cramped.

  5. Two weeks ago there were the same number of new cases in Victoria as there were yesterday in NSW.

    They have no idea of the source of the Thai restaurant.

    On their Twitter Feed its just a tsunami of people demanding to know why the cases in “their area” are not being included in the totals and only the clusters are being counted ?

    Politics, politics, politics – Gladys was on the news literally saying all cases came from Victoria – aslo we don’t know where the Thai ones come from.

    Victoria is hitting up to 30k tests per day – NSW is cruising along at 18k. Gladys said – “please don’t go to crowded places unless you have to”.

    I have to have a beer.

    NSW is about to go ballistic.

  6. Can't Socially Distance

    Are the AMA and medical experts seriously getting upset about people not wearing PPE?

    A mere four months they were ridiculing the idea of the public wearing masks.

    “There is no scientific evidence that they protect the general public from infection,’’ Dr Mackay said.”

    “Dr Tony Bartone from the Australian Medical Association says wearing face masks is of “no real benefit” in the general population, but people should still take care of their hygeine to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.”

    • Reus's largeMEMBER

      Those medical experts that they trot out on the idiot box are about as useful as tits on a bull

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      The government and medicos made a big mistake not being honest about PPE at the start.
      Instead of “We don’t have enough PPE in the country for the hospital system” they downplayed the simple effectiveness of masks, to buy time to stock up the Hospital system, and then discovered the locusts from our north had got in before them.

  7. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said yesterday there were 45 coronavirus outbreaks in aged care homes in Victoria and a total of 300 positive cases.

    WTF? Does this mean it is in 45 different aged care homes?

    • Yes. Casualisation of the workforce. Great isn’t it. Their husbands will be in the warehouses, abattoirs and building sites spreading it as we speak.

      • Its great that we are shown where the hots pots are – I mean if there were a hundred cases on building sites would we know ?


        How about some transparency DAN ?!!

        Where are these cases ? Show us !

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        Many works at multiple nursing homes, making every worker a potential super spreader.

      • Ok – so it looks like the VAST majority are in people under the age of 30, then 30-40.

        So basically care facilities are the least of our worries.

        So why is this all we are hearing about ? Where are these outbreaks occurring ?!


        We are not being told because they do not want to shut them down and the unions have said they wont shut down.

        Full on.

        People are posting images of no one wearing masks on building sites on Twitter.

    • Tassie TomMEMBER

      An average 7 positive cases per infected aged care home? Those numbers are going to multiply.

    • Rowan McKenzie

      The fact that nursing homes havn’t been basically put under Military control should be more of a scandal than the hotel mismanagement. 50% of your deaths are right there! Its like having a vaccine already if you keep the virus out of those places.

      • 100 Well known fact: – curseing home inmates only protected pre-covid by regular visits of relatives. No relatives = neglect. With relatives locked out, the neglect must be escalating horrifically.

        This disgraceful industry must be shut down forever.

        • Totally agree. I wonder is this was the real cause of deaths in Newmarch House in Sydney and Anglicare covered it up a COV-19 related. Shameful, criminal behaviour if it is true.
          Nevertheless, it made the MSM lick their lips in joy as it gave them more material for their covid-p0rn.

    • Thank you Spunky – that’s brilliant.
      4. Personal protective equipment
      Lowest level of protection and least reliable control.

  8. “I still think that Sydney will follow.” – I’ll do Albo here and say – Me Too.

  9. This is why those saying we should isolate the vulnerable and let it rip should STFU.

    • Yes, especially because although it’s mainly the old dying, the young are getting horrible life-changing sequelae like brain, heart, liver, kidney and lung damage (glassed lungs), chronic fatigue and exertion intolerance, clots and strokes, neuropathy, smell and taste impairment and more

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Let it rip, and then what? You kill the economy, add huge strain to the hospital system and dissolve the last vestiges of trust in our government.
      And after all that, our society wins 3 to 6 months of herd immunity, and then we get to relive the experience all over again.

      • ripping through is unavoidable so better to let it under some control (isolating elderly and sick …) than struggle with suppression for months just to fail and have the same rip at the end

        herd immunity in the sense that people cannot get infected after but personal immunity (at least memory cell kind) will last forever to some degree that makes any future infections if not impossible much shorter and milder and because of that any future spread of the virus is going to be much harder and outbreaks smaller and shorter.

        • ripping through is unavoidable

          Keep talking, someday you’ll say something intelligent.

          • every new day just makes me more and you less right – is in it?

            there are only few examples left that didn’t see rip through yet

        • “herd immunity in the sense that people cannot get infected after”

          Not proven. People are getting reinfected, and it’s possible immunity only lasts a few weeks

    • Let it rip will result in a 0.6% death rate, which for Australia would be
      25,500,000*0.006 = 153,000 deaths
      Meh, nothing, according to the covid deniers

  10. There is a common factor to the hotel quarantine and the aged care facilities.
    casualization of labor = death

  11. Looks like most of the cases are not in aged care facilities with the vast majority of cases in people under 30.

    Looks like the outbreaks on building and infrastructure sites are being hidden because they can’t afford to shut them down.

    Males are also overwhelmingly the make up of new cases.

    Second group is 30-40 with the elderly barely registering.

    We are being flat out lied to …..

    • just few cases in each aged care facility is more than enough to cause in next few weeks everyone to get infected and 10% or so of people there to die (because they are very old)

  12. so again, all that effort into saving lives by locking down young people at no risk while failing to protect those most vulnerable in aged care and nursing homes

    at the fraction of the lockdowns costs they would have been able to protect aged care, nursing homes and hospitals and that way really save many lives while letting young to build personal and collective immunity

  13. I don;t think conditions are still rights for virus to become airborne and spread fast in Sydney …
    without becoming airborne Sydney may just go as Rome did during Italian north epridemic

    it looks like that virus has very low R0 (close to 1) when not airborne and very high R0 once it becomes airbore

    The only realistic way to match models with current numbers in Melbourne is to assume the virus has R effective of over 3 (which would indicate R0 of over 4 assuming current lockdowns do at least something to its ability to spread)

    • What conditions are they? I saw what you wrote about those scientists writing that letter about the virus lingering in the air. It has difficulty dealing with higher temperatures doesn’t it?

      • that’s not known at the moment, and that’s very serious issue
        high temperatures don’t seem to be the problem – heaps of outbreaks in very hot and dry (Arizona and East Texas) as well in hot and humid (Florida and West Texas) areas.
        So far it’s believed that amount of fine particles in the air may have more effect. similar has been indicated for flu in the past

        It’s very puzzling but conventional thinking cannot explain why cities like Rome or Naples or Seville or Washington DC or …didn’t get 10k dead despite having more than enough infected people to cause that as nearby cities that did record tens of thousands of dead. So far this has always been credited to super spreaders which is just different name for we have no idea (super spreader is not a scientific thing at all)

        • Level of pollution perhpas or particles in the air in combination with the temp and with humidity… that effectively means the virus latches on to particles in the air, can stay active and travels further..
          I dont know im making that up. But could be some odd combination that makes it spark up!
          Gee the person that figures that out would be a hero.

          • definitely would be a hero

            and what you are saying is one of more likely theories scientist are thinking about – just not sure what size and type of particles and under what conditions
            It’s known that viruses can travel far attached to small dry particles … sometimes carried by wind over long distances (even across the oceans)

            the problem is that officials like CMOs and WHO are still refusing to admit airborne transmission because it would invalidate most of the measures they are recommending and they have no other measures to recommend

      • Seasonality is related to people congregating in enclosed spaces due to cold, plus Vitamin D deficiency due lack of sunshine resulting in a compromised immune system that makes you more vulnerable and infectious. It’s such a strong evolutionary pressure that humans lost their skin pigmentation in cold climates!

        • fitzroyMEMBER

          Taking Dr Campbell‘s advice and consuming vitamin di supplements. I think Melbourne passes as a cold climate at the moment. Thanks for your thoughts

        • How about Arizona, Florida, Texas … sunny all year long, warm or hot as well
          Also, many countries in Europe are seeing bigger second wave now in the middle of summer

  14. Luca BiasonMEMBER

    The enigma of Mr Andrews

    legalising assisted dying
    leadership during bushfires

    Somyurek affair

    envenoming Australia with the BRI
    governance failure unleashing a second wave of Covid19