Australia will conduct an independent investigation into its handling of the Covid pandemic

SYDNEY, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Australia’s centre-left Labor government said on Thursday it would launch an independent inquiry into its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to better prepare for future health crises.

Australia closed its international borders and locked down cities among other pandemic restrictions, helping keep infections and deaths well below the levels of other comparable developed economies such as the United States and Britain.

It became possible to live with the virus after most of the population was vaccinated in early 2022.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told a media conference that a three-member panel, including an epidemiologist, public service expert and economist, would investigate.

“We need to examine what went right, focusing on the future and what can be done better,” Albanese said. “Because health experts and science tell us that this pandemic…is unlikely to be the last pandemic.”

Albanese said the investigation was in the national interest, but the opposition coalition that was in power during the peak of the pandemic said it did not want it to become a “witch-hunt”.

The opposition also criticized the Albanese government for leaving state-level restrictions out of scrutiny, such as the Victoria government’s stop-start lockdown of Melbourne, which totaled 262 days, the longest in the world. Was one of the down.

“If we don’t learn the lessons of what happened, good and bad, during COVID, at every level of government, how can we expect to understand in the next pandemic what happened in the last pandemic,” the opposition said. happened.” leader Peter Dutton told reporters.

Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Miral Fahmy

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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