Scott Morrison rules out second shutdown – “Elimination impractical”

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The Prime Minister all but ruled out a second shutdown to suppress coronavirus in a Melbourne radio interview yesterday, labelling an elimination strategy “impractical”.

As debate over Australia’s response to community transmission continues, Scott Morrison says the government’s response to COVID strikes the correct balance between trying to suppress the virus and allowing economic activity to continue.

“You don’t go to the extremes on any of this stuff, you just keep going down the middle, and that’s where you make the most ground,” he told Triple M.

Morrison said lockdowns in Victoria were necessary given the state’s spike in infections, but added, “your protection against the virus is not shutting things down all the time.”

“You don’t just shut the whole country down because that is not sustainable. I’ve heard that argument. You’d be doubling unemployment potentially, and even worse.”

“Unless we are not going to allow any freight, or medical supplies into Australia, or any exports into Australia, or things like this – there is always going to be a connection between Australia and the rest of the world”.

The Prime Minister didn’t rule out additional restrictions in Victoria to contain the outbreak.

“Well my understanding is Premier Andrews hasn’t ruled that out, I mean he hasn’t ruled anything out which is understandable in the circumstances, we are very much still in the throes of it in Victoria,” he said.

“To think you can quarantine off (and isolate) the most vulnerable in the community, and you don’t see the death rates and the digging of open graves in places like New York and other places, to think that can’t happen here is also not the case.”

Public approval for the Morrison Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis has taken a slight slip, down to 64% from 70% in June.