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BY DENG ATAK KEN - 8 Jun 2020

Opinion | Australian response to COVID-19

I am here today to tell you about the response that our Australian government has put in curbing the novel Coronavirus. In Australia, the first case of COVID-19 was first confirmed in late January 2020. It seems like the COVID-19 is about to end in some Australian states, if not the entire country. I aim to express the satisfaction and gratitude with the way our government and our abled Prime Minister handled this pandemic, which is considered a tragedy and catastrophe in our lifetime. It is heartbreaking, and our thoughts go to those who lost their lives. We hope a quick recovery to those who are still struggling with the sickness, and we hope this disease will come to an end sooner rather than later.

There have been some aims that the Australian government had set as a health response towards the outbreak of COVID-19. These include but not limited to the minimisation of the people infected or ill with the virus. The management of the demand of the health systems in Australia. The minimisation of the mortality rate and how people become sick. They are assisting the Australia citizens and people living in Australia to manage their risk and that of their family and people nearby (Caly, 2020).

The success of the country to flatten the curve has been tremendous. We have seen that the cases in Australia of a new COVID-19 number have been decreasing each day. Careful steps have been taken to ease restrictions which assisted in suppressing the spread of the Novel Coronavirus. The information for the COVID-19 response by the government of Australian has been by modelling of the virus' impact. The health system has been found to cope with the modelling if us the citizens have functional physical distancing, the capacity of the health system been increased, and the isolation of the people with the virus and those who closely contacted with them (Chang et al., 2020).

The steps taken by the government towards the COVID-19 was a decision that was informed by surveillance and intelligence. The Australian government worked together with the territory government by sharing information to provide the best care and ensuring that the response is integrated and consistent across the country. A team of highly respected clinicians led by the Chief Medical Officer has been put together to assist in the health response of COVID-19. When the government continues learning about Novel Coronavirus, they regularly reviewed their reaction, moved funds into an undertaking that are working in the right conditions, and scaling back the operations that put no impact on the fight against the virus (Smith et al., 2020).

The government tried to reduce the spread of novel Coronavirus by placing a couple of measures on interstate travels. These are; implementing restrictions to travel, travellers’ screening for those arriving in Australia, ensuring the travellers' quarantine on arrival and continuation of the border surveillance. The government's other measures are the delivering of a support package that amounts to $17.6 billion for the economy to keep people employed and investment encouragement (Chinnazi et al., 2020). They are delivering $2.4 billion as a health package for the protection of all Australians. Providing $669 million for the expansion of telehealth services for the Medicare-subsidised to every Australian so that anyone can access excellent medical care while they are in their dwelling. They are delivering assistance to the citizens that experience either family, sexual and domestic violence or both because of the novel Coronavirus fallout. They are providing the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan $48.1 million for the in accompaniment to $74 million for the aid of Australians' wellbeing and mental health (Smith et al., 2020).

Home delivery funding for most prescription medicines for us as the citizens who are not able to get to pharmaceutical help. They are securing protective gear to assists our medical professionals to protect themselves and tracing the cases of the people infected with COVID-19. It provides information on the Australian government's response and the way we can protect ourselves and others in other languages and English. Limitations of some non-prescription drugs, to make sure the people who need the medications can get access to them. The state, together with our health authorities of the territory, are testing suspected people who have the novel Coronavirus (Caly et al., 2020). The close contacts of confirmed cases are traced and monitored daily. Placing restrictions of travel between states and opening health centre for fever testing. Through us as the Australian people, the government tries to stop COVID-19 by urging us to keep in touch with our family and friends to check on them. Our government also encourages us to take protection steps for ourselves and others like self-quarantining when you fall sick and good hygiene practice. To stay healthy, make use of the ongoing support available, and follow the advice for smart travelling (Chinnazi et al., 2020).

The government urges us to stay informed through the health alert of the novel Coronavirus, which is updated daily. Our Australian government updates the latest cases, information related to the pandemic, and the current situation. As of June 2, Australia's total cases were 7,221, the new cases +17, the total deaths 102, and the total number of those who recovered 6,626 while that of the world was 6,447,021 Coronavirus cases, 380,602 deaths and 2,950,812 recovered cases (Dong, Du & Gardner, 2020). Australia managed to be one of the few countries to be profoundly affected by the COVID-19. These were through the recommendable job that our Australian government, and through our health care COVID-19 response team, put in place actions and responses to cushion ourselves from the spread of the novel Coronavirus. The credit should be given where it is due, a job well done for our health care workers.

Countries that exercise corruption in their countries should learn something from this pandemic (Smith et al., 2020).

The fundamental lesson from this pandemic period is that if countries, through their leaders, manipulate public money and not develop their health institutions, they will face severe consequences in the future. The virus has forced states to not to allow cases from the other countries since the treatment of the novel Coronavirus has yet to be discovered. The pandemic has challenged the health system of the developing countries. These should be a lesson to learn for countries like South Sudan, where I am from, whose leaders lack patriotism; they should develop their health institutions and economy at large. Things will not be the same again, even after the economy and the restrictions have been removed, somethings will have to change (Smith et al., 2020).

As I conclude, I would like to tell all South Sudanese migrants in Australia who may lack such an opportunity, it is an honour to be in this country. The migrants are all happy for the treatment we have received from the people and the government of Australia. We have been treated in an equal and fair manner, disregarding the race and place of origin. A lot of migrants have learned a lot in this country. I can openly say that indeed the government of people by people operate here in Australia. Our fellow citizens are respectful, responsible, honest, have ethical leadership skills, hardworking, fair, and generous, and our government ensures that its citizens are safe and well protected. Finally, it is with high regards for me to mention that the cooperation of all our citizens following the guidelines set by the state to reduce the transmission of the novel Coronavirus is impeccable. Our gratitude goes to the professionals in our health care system, our health workers such as the nurses, doctors, and the rest of our medical workers for a job well done. Hopefully, our Australia government will be able to return our economy to where it was and maybe even better than where it was. May God bless our country.

The author, Deng Atak Ken is international relations student at ECU University and an author for The Man from South Sudan’s Book. Can be contacted through email:

The views expressed in ‘opinion’ articles published by Radio Tamazuj are solely those of the writer. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author, not Radio Tamazuj.