Mask mandates are ‘quite likely’ to return as Australia continues to battle Covid, top doctor says
- The Australian Medical Association has called for mask mandates to return
- Dr Omar Khorshid said it’s ‘quite likely’ mask mandates will return
- He warns premiers may soon be left with ‘no choice’ as cases rise
One of Australia’s most prominent doctors has warned mask mandates are ‘quite likely’ to return in some states, as Covid cases continue to rise.
Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid, a Perth-based hip and knee surgeon, said rules for mask wearing will ‘quite likely’ need to be brought in and enforced in order to control the latest virus outbreak.
‘Everything we’ve heard from the federal government and various state health ministers and premiers is that they’re not about to introduce mandates,’ he told The Guardian.
‘But governments are ultimately going to be held to account by the public for their failure to navigate this whole process. At some point, I think it’s quite likely we will have a period of mask mandates in certain states.
Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid (pictured) said mask mandates are ‘quite likely’ to return’
Dr Khorshid urged Australians to ‘do the right thing’ and wear a mask.
‘We can either do the right thing and try to protect those hospitals, keep the resources available for the Australians who need it or ignore it until our Chief Health Officers have got no choice but to bring back mandates,’ he said.
‘So we all need to take a little bit of the bitter pill, do the right thing, that means getting your vaccines, even though they’re not the complete solution they’re part of it.
The Australian Medical Association has called for mask mandates to return
‘It means if you have the slightest cold or flu systems to test yourself, and report those results to the government in the way you’re supposed to and not to be out and about with cold symptoms.’
The AMA President said the country was getting “very close” to the point of needed mask mandates.
‘The governments aren’t willing to mandate it because they’re worried about the blowback,’ Dr Khorshid said.
‘They know Australians don’t want mask mandates but at the end of the day they have to step up and protect the community and when that time comes I expect them to do the right thing.’
Yesterday, chief medical officer Paul Kelly encouraged Australians to wear masks, but did not introduce any mandates.
‘We know that wearing masks do reduce the spread and protect yourself and protect others if you’re away from home and indoors in a crowded place, I really very strongly suggest that you do wear masks,’ he said.
‘I am wearing a mask now. You will have noticed the minister is wearing a mask as well. This is our leadership role for the community. This will not be forever but for the next few weeks this is the way we can actually influence.’