Member for Northern Metropolitan and Leader of the Reason Party, Fiona Patten MP, has today joined forces with GP Lorraine Baker, to call on the Health Minister to change Victoria’s public health advice on face masks, in an effort to stem community transmission of Coronavirus.
Government advice on face masks has not changed since March 2020, when masks were in short supply. Governments were cautious at the start of the pandemic when supplies were low, but that is no longer an issue.
Dr Lorraine Baker met Ms Patten during her presidency of AMA Victoria. Dr Baker has backed the ‘Mask for Aussies’ group, who with the support of Dr Kerryn Phelps, the former independent member for Wentworth, are lobbying the government to advocate that everyone wear a mask in public.
“I’m asking the Government to counsel people to wear protective re-usable masks for everyone’s protection and as a sign of solidarity with the sick and those doing it tough because of the virus”, said Dr Baker.
Fiona Patten backs the campaign.
“The evidence says that face masks work, so in line with the Reason Party’s evidence-based approach, I am joining health professionals urging their increased use in public”, said Ms Patten.
“Wearing a mask is a major harm reduction tool, it simply makes sense”, she said.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth, and a raft of doctors, nurses and community health workers have joined the call to widen the use of cloth masks to battle Covid-19.
The WHO have now encouraged governments to urge their citizens to wear face masks to “prevent COVID-19 transmission effectively in areas of community transmission.”
“We should be doing everything we can to reduce the risk of Covid19 to our family, our friends, our neighbours”, said Ms Patten.
“This threat is real, so if wearing a mask can help – then just do it. National Cabinet need to prioritise this issue”, she said.
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