Only unity can win

We must work together to fight against the spread of COVID-19 

26 July 2021 | CCCA (Image: Marcus Reubenstein)

As of yesterday, Australia had 2,117 active COVID-19 cases, of which 961 were contracted within the community over the past seven days. There were 835 community transmissions in New South Wales and 107 in Victoria.   of which 176 occurred in the last week which include NSW 163 cases and Victoria 12 cases.  

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has announced stricter lockdown restrictions for greater Sydney, including residents in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas, as well as the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, are in place until 30 July. 

Does the lockdown apply to me? What about if I live in southwest Sydney? 

Residents in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas cannot leave the area for work unless they are authorised workers (including healthcare, retail, manufacturing, some types of transport, etc). Those who do have to leave the area must have a COVID-19 test every three days. 

People cannot leave their homes unless it is for one of the four essential reasons: 

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services. Browsing in shops is prohibited, and only one person per household, per day may leave the home for shopping. 
  • Medical care or compassionate needs, including getting a Covid-19 vaccine 
  • Exercise outdoors in groups of two, who cannot travel further than 10km from their home or local government area. 
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home 

See here for the full list of reasonable excuses to leave your home, The Guardian has also published a separate list with some useful information to clarify the current Health Regulation in NSW.

In NSW, we saw a spread of the virus emanating from the eastern suburbs to southwestern Sydney. It would appear that the means used to contain the spread of the virus did not work well, particularly the movement of people in the Greater Sydney region.

We are aware that lockdowns so far have caused huge economic losses and also created a lot of inconveniences, sense of loss of freedom, frustration, psychological, emotional and financial problems to most of us. On the other hand, if we don’t have this pandemic under control sooner, the adverse impact to our economy and us will be much greater and more severe. 

Introduction of stricter containment measures, which could be characterized as draconian, must gain the full and total support of the people and for this viral infection, an exception means giving a free passage for the virus to infect the vulnerable.

The NSW government should start such education in school, followed by public education of the subject on all media outlets.  We are not a totalitarian society, and the government should be more persuasive. 

Meanwhile, ordinary citizens should play their part in complying with lockdown provisions, 

The lack of global collaboration on the containment of the diseases is a problem (identified in other CCCA commentary) and without the cooperation the pandemic will last a few more years. 

In fighting the pandemic, we wish to appeal to all Australians us to put aside their differences, personal issues and work together with our federal and state governments. We must sacrifice a bit of our freedom and income to fight this pandemic in partnership with our governments, we hope to defeat the common enemy, Covid-19, before it overwhelms us. 

We are more fortunate than our northern neighbours such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Vietnam. They are facing this pandemic in a much larger scale, with rising number of deaths and hospitalisations which have overwhelmed their health systems and severely strained medical supply chains. 

There has been some controversy about the availability of the vaccine in Australia and the stories of the dreaded blood clot.  These stories often include the controversy of available vaccine which has been politicized. Although our government, and its institutions, somehow mishandled the rollout of our vaccination program, the scale of this pandemic is unprecedented and to some extent it is unpredictable. However, our federal government has now rectified this issue by getting Pfizer agreed to speed up its supplies to us.  

Nevertheless, our federal and state governments also speeding up the rollout of the vaccination program. In addition, our federal and state governments also offering financial supports and assistance to our businesses and us for us to mitigate any hardships that caused by this pandemic.  

Protests will never win the war against COVID-19 but rather causes unnecessary social unrest and disruption to Government allocation of needed resources to fight against our pandemic war.  

We can only win this pandemic war if we can unite and work together with our governments to fight against COVID-19.  

Principal Authors:  William Luong & Dr Anthony Pun, OAM (CCCA Foundation President). This commentary is supplied by the Chinese Community Council of Australia Incorporated: Founding President, Dr Anthony Pun OAM, President, Mr Kingsley Liu. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors.

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