COVID-19 beyond Australia’s borders

COVID-19 beyond Australia’s borders

The looming COVID-19 crisis just beyond Australia’s borders

Posted on 08.04.2020


As we look around the world, attention is firmly now focused on surging numbers of coronavirus sufferers in the United States and the United Kingdom, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston himself in intensive care fighting for his life.

China was the focus at the start of this pandemic, but the number of new cases there has slowed to a trickle, assuming you can believe what its government tells us.

The tragedies in Italy and Spain continue, but the curve in both nations is starting to bend, suggest the worst of the pandemic just might be behind them. Even if there is a long way to go.

In the midst of all of this Australia has done well. Modelling released yesterday highlighting that while we might have acted a week or two later than would have been ideal, Scott Morrison did act two or three weeks early enough to avoid the challenges the US and UK now face.

But the as yet largely ignored looming crisis is just beyond our borders. Indonesia, one of our nearest neighbours and close trading partners is in the early stages of emulating the problems in those nations mentioned which have been brought to their knees by the coronavirus. Only unlike Italy, the UK and US, Indonesia is an underdeveloped nation with very poor health care services, and low numbers of health care workers per head of population. Which is to say nothing about the lack of protective equipment and ventilators to help manage this crisis.

As the new world order in the coronavirus age confirms the “every nation for itself” principle, it is important we prepare for the crisis to our north, and how it might impact on us.

Peter Van Onselen
The Australian





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