Four Corners: Aug 2
On Monday ABC examines how Australia was left dangerously exposed.
- Published by David Knox
- on July 30, 2021
Monday’s Four Corners is “Lockdown: How Australia became trapped by COVID-19”, reported by Adam Harvey.
“It’s been disappointing. We’ve been let down. There’s no point in sugar coating it. It’s just been a massive disappointment.” Resident
For weeks, millions of Australians have been trapped by outbreaks of COVID-19 around the country with five states and the Northern Territory plunging into lockdown.
“The risk is real and we need to act quickly. We need to go hard, we need to go fast… I don’t want to see people end up in our hospitals on ventilators.” Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
At a grim press conference in Sydney, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian bluntly told the nation that with case numbers on the rise, the threat of COVID-19 had reached an unprecedented level.
“The situation that exists now…is regarded as a national emergency.” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
Now, despite millions of people being told to stay at home, the number of infections is climbing with the virulent Delta strain.
“We should be very worried about Delta. Delta is many times more infectious than the original wild type of virus. It is really easy to transmit, and it is slightly more problematic when it comes to people who’ve only had one dose of vaccine.” Former Health Dept Secretary
This type of outbreak is exactly what the nation’s leading experts warned of when Four Corners reported on the failings in Australia’s vaccine rollout in May.
“It’s clear the virus hasn’t gone away. It will come back in this country and if we have really low levels of vaccination at that point in time, then the impact of that will be far greater than it would have been otherwise.” Dr Paul Griffin, May 2021
Their warnings have become a grim reality. On Monday Four Corners examines how Australia was left dangerously exposed.
“A leak from quarantine was probably inevitable. But the problems we’re having now all go back to the decisions that were made last year.” Former Health Dept Secretary
As the program shows, the slow and sometimes faltering vaccine rollout has made the task of beating COVID-19 that much harder.
“We’re going to have to increase our supply and increase our injecting rate by a third, every day, seven days a week, until December 31.” Epidemiologist
For those struggling to get back on their feet after a horror 2020, there is frustration that they are facing even more pain.
“There is a high level of anxiety bordering on depression for many people, but the real frustration from the business community is around the lack of vaccination rollout right now. And we know that vaccinations are our only way of getting out of these lockdowns.” Retail spokesperson
Experts warn that there will be more to come if the issues of supply and hesitancy aren’t overcome.
“The longer a variant spreads, the greater the risk of it learning mutations and changing, and becoming a super variant.” Epidemiologist