Wednesday, August 11, 2021

On July 22, Wikinews interviewed Professor Gigi Foster of School of Economics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia about measures that the government took to stop the spread of COVID-19, a virus that caused what the World Health Organization declared a pandemic last year.

Professor Foster is on faculty with the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales. She wrote an Op-Ed in the Sydney Morning Herald, arguing for a case against the so-called “lockdowns” – measures which the state governments in Australia were implementing to stop the spread of COVID-19. These measures included things like limiting the size of gatherings, directing certain business types such as gyms to close or operate at reduced capacity, limiting where people may travel and restricting residents to only leaving their home if they have a reasonable excuse to do so.

In New South Wales, these restrictions were implemented as Public Health Orders, signed by Brad Hazzard, the Minister for Health and Medical Research. Mr Brad Hazzard has authority make these Orders under the Public Health Act 2010, section 7.

Wikinews reached out to Professor Gigi Foster, asking for comment.

The interview was conducted amid an outbreak of COVID-19 in New South Wales, that has resulted in an increase of restrictions from June 26. At the day of interview, residents were legally allowed to go outdoors only for essential shopping, medical care, and exercise, in groups of no more than two people unless of a common household. On July 28, authorities extended these restrictions until the end of August.

The current outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta strain started from ‘patient zero’, reportedly a driver, which includes transporting international flight crew, as NSW Health wrote on June 16. A week later, on June 24, the driver commented that he thought that he caught the virus from a local cafe, where another patron was visibly unwell.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said that “our mission is to allow our citizens to live as safely and freely as possible”, having announced that only authorized workers — people whose occupation is essential — could leave home in selected higher risk regions in south-west of Sydney until July 30.

Work of the construction industry has been stopped for several days, and resumed this week with requirement that the construction workers get tested for COVID-19 regularly.

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