Emergency physician Dr Stephen Parnis has hit out at anti-lockdown protesters stating their protests on Saturday will make lockdowns worse in Victoria and New South Wales.
Dr Parnis, a former AMA vice-president, said COVID-19 case numbers in the two states were trending in the wrong direction and it was putting even more pressure on health services.
“It’s very concerning, the trajectory is heading in the wrong direction,” Dr Parnis told ABC News 24 on Sunday.
“We know from past experience that when the numbers increase, that translates through to more sick people, more hospital presentations. And already in Melbourne we’ve seen an impact with hundreds of exposure sites, lots of people – over 10,000 to 15,000 in isolation, and that includes a significant amount of health workers. It’s putting pressure on health services.
“We saw these protests yesterday [Saturday], which are demoralising because these people are doing the exact opposite of what they purport to do, which is improve people’s freedoms. They actually make it worse for everyone.“
Dr Parnis said he hoped Victoria’s lockdown would soon stop the growth in numbers but he urged eligible people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“The problem that we have in common is that we are dealing with a virus that is significantly more infectious than last year. That’s the downside,” Dr Parnis said.
“The upside is that we are getting a more and more significant proportion of the population vaccinated and protected every single day.
“I’ve got no doubt that, as far as Sydney goes, if we did not have anyone vaccinated, the number of people getting infected, being in hospital, dying, would be a fair bit higher than it is at the moment.
“That’s really an incentive for these accelerating rates of vaccination to increase. And not just in Sydney and Melbourne, but across the entire nation. We haven’t got a day to lose.”