Thursday, May 23, 2024

Andrews: “There’s no rulebook” on contact tracing efforts

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews will send a team of senior health officials to Sydney to study NSW contact tracing methods in an effort to improve the state’s record on COVID-19 infection management.

“They will again just double and triple check whether there is anything that is different between our response and the response of NSW,” said the Premier today.

The move follows Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s statement yesterday that NSW was “the gold standard” for COVID-19 case data management.

Mr Andrews backed away from conceding Victoria’s current contact tracing system was inadequate, saying “there’s no rulebook. There’s no playbook. There’s no guide here,” he said.

“This is something none of us have done before and therefore you all learn from each other and there are plenty of insights that we’ve provided to NSW and Queensland and South Australia.”

The Premier also announced today that the government would set up five suburban conronavirus response teams based in the north, south, south-east and west of metropolitan Melbourne – to match the response already in place across regional Victoria.

The state government has also employed tech giant Salesforce to improve its contact tracing system – with a new digital system set to cover the entire tracing process, from test results to management of cases and contacts.

“It’s about trying to consolidate and align many different platforms into one platform,” Mr Andrews said.

“That is happening now and just means that there is less pen and paper, there is less manual data entry.”

The system was offered to Victoria back in March, along with Western Australia and South Australia – two states that did take up the digital system for their contact tracing efforts.

He said Victoria would also make use of an IBM artificial intelligence product from the Department of Defence to provide predictive modelling for infection patterns.

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