Senate inquiry calls for royal commission to look into Australia’s Covid response

Australia’s Senate Covid Committee has called for a Royal Commission inquiry into the country’s response to the pandemic.

The Senate Covid-19 Committee issued its final report on Thursday evening, finding that while Australia ” fared much better than other countries ” throughout the ” first wave “, a failure to draw lessons as the pandemic progressed, and “significant failures” of implementation with, at times, “catastrophic consequences”, reports the Xinhua news agency.

The committee, which was chaired by a member of the opposition Labor Party, recommended the establishment of a Center for Disease Control to improve pandemic preparedness, operational response capacity and communication at all levels of government.

He said a royal commission, Australia’s highest form of inquiry, should be set up ‘to look into Australia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic’ and the government should open a review of its preparedness. to future pandemics.

The report identified the failure to open quarantine facilities, the slow start of vaccine rollout and the handling of Covid-19 outbreaks in aged care facilities as government failures.

At the time of filing, Australia had more than 4.6 million cases of Covid-19 resulting in 6,462 deaths.

According to the report, around 30% of deaths have occurred in aged care facilities, whose residents have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, accounting for just 0.7% of Australia’s population.

“This is a terrible outcome for the community and a particularly tragic one because some of these infections and deaths could have been prevented had the government responded more effectively to the pandemic,” he said.

The report also states that this failure to establish self-sustaining quarantine facilities has resulted in the imposition of overseas arrival caps, which have severely restricted the number of people who can return to Australia, denying thousands of citizens the entry into their own country.

“The government has also failed to address the serious and dangerous misinformation about vaccines being promoted within the government’s own parliamentary ranks.”

In a dissenting report, government members of the committee accused the opposition Labor Party of using it as a vehicle for ‘partisan attacks on the government’ rather than investigating ‘matters of concern during a pandemic in rapid development”.

On Friday morning, Australia reported more than 30,000 new cases of Covid-19.

Norman D. Briggs