Virus testing needed at checkpoints: AMA

Tessa Randello

The Australian Medical Association Victoria is calling for coronavirus testing at regional checkpoints.

AMA Victoria president associate professor Julian Rait said testing at these checkpoints would give people travelling to regional Victoria for essential reasons an opportunity to be tested before entering vulnerable areas.

Prof Rait said providing enroute testing would reduce the risk of people in Melbourne bringing the virus into regional areas.

“This is not just areas like Geelong or Ballarat, but also into the Latrobe Valley, especially in the case of the City of Casey which is one of the more concentrated areas around Melbourne with coronavirus cases, which is right on the Valley’s doorstep,” he said.

“The Latrobe Valley has very few cases but it only takes one of these super spreaders to go out to regional Victoria and next thing you know we have an outbreak.”

“Testing at the borders between Melbourne and regional Victoria would be a preventative measure and not compulsory, but a way to track those who have to travel between the two who may have mild symptoms that they can check, while isolating.”

Prof Rait added AMA Victoria would like to see more people in regional Victoria wearing face masks in public.

“The Premier (Daniel Andrews) suggested masking up in public and the AMA would like to see people wearing masks across the state,” he said.

“I think the problem is that unless people embrace that measure there will be further lockdowns… regional areas are the next in line in terms of containing the virus which is why they should start considering border testing soon.”