Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has persistently denied that the state was pursuing a controversial “eradication” strategy in relation to COVID-19, however former health minister Jenny Mikakos caused a stir on Monday with a tweet claiming the state is “well on the way” to eradicating the Virus.
“I am saddened to see more lives lost, my sympathy to their families. But I’m so pleased to see how low the numbers are. I’m so proud of Victorians and so grateful for the sacrifices made to get us to this point. We are well on the way to eradication,” she tweeted.
Asked about the Tweet, Premier Daniel Andrews said that the state is pursuing the strategy of suppression.
“I have answered this question many, many times. That is not the strategy,” Mr Andrews said.
“The strategy is to suppress this virus and that’s the National Cabinet decision.”
An opinion piece by Dr Nick Coatsworth on the health.gov.au states: “The current Victorian COVID-19 outbreak has seen renewed calls for Australia to pursue a coronavirus “elimination” strategy. This is surprising. It’s unrealistic – and it’s dangerous.”
Eradication means a global absence of the pathogen apart from within labs, something which had been achieved for smallpox in 1980. Suppression, on the other hand, is slightly laxer. The differences between a suppression strategy and an elimination strategy are the strictness, timing, and duration with which these restriction measures are applied, especially travel restrictions.