Questions have been raised over Melbourne’s COVID curfew as the state’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says that the measure was not requested by him or health authorities.
Professor Sutton told reporters on Tuesday that Melbourne’s stage 4 curfew, which has been in place since 2 August, was not a public health measure.
Rather the nighttime stay-indoors order was a measure put in place to assist the state’s emergency services.
The Chief Health Officer did, however, concede that the curfew had “probably” been a useful tool in Victoria’s fight against its second wave of COVID-19.
The revelation comes after health experts earlier this week publicly backed the Victorian government’s decision to extend stage four lockdown across the city, while questioning the efficacy of the curfew.
The Grattan Institute’s Dr Stephen Duckett told The Guardian that while Victoria appeared to be on “the right track” with its response, the reasoning behind the curfew was unclear.
“The evidence for the curfew is very, very limited,” Dr Duckett told The Guardian.
Yesterday, the state recorded another day of fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19, with health authorities reporting 55 new cases across the state.
238 people are now in hospital across Victoria, with 22 of whom in intensive care.