SCHOOLS — ATTENDANCE
267. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the parliamentary secretary
representing the Minister for Health:
I refer to recent calls by the Western
Australian president of the Australian Medical Association, Andrew Miller, for a gradual managed reduction in the Western Australian
school population to mitigate risk, slow down the spread of the
coronavirus and avoid overwhelming our already under-resourced and stressed
(1) Why is the
state government refusing to allow a managed reduction in the school population
when other jurisdictions, particularly in Europe, have already done so?
(2) Does the
state government recognise that unless timely suppression measures are enacted,
we will likely see in WA an exponential growth trajectory in coronavirus cases
similar to that experienced in Italy?
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, on the advice of the
Communicable Diseases Network Australia, has considered and continues to
regularly consider a number of social distancing measures to provide advice to
the national cabinet on strengthening the control of COVID-19 in Australia. The AHPPC met on Tuesday, 17 March to consider the
issue of school closures in relation to the community transmission of
COVID-19. The committee's advice is that pre-emptive closures are not
proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community
transmission of COVID-19 at this time.