Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

New warning: ‘Young people are dying’

Australia's deputy chief medical officer has issued a dire warning to young people amid the global coronavirus crisis.

After Prime Minister Scott Morrison blasted Bondi Beach goers in a press conference this morning (where he also unveiled a $66 billion second stimulus package), Professor Paul Kelly reinforced the message with a stark warning: "Young people have died".

"I would like to stress this, particularly to young people, you are not immune from this virus," Mr Kelly said in a press conference.

"While we have seen across the world people getting this very severe infection, the 20 per cent who get it are mostly older people, but some young people have also had severe infection.

"Some young people have died and some young people have transmitted that infection to other members of their family.

"This is an important message for everybody, including all components of society, to take this message very seriously."

 

Professor Paul Kelly, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, addressing the media about new restrictions and advice for Australians on how to deal with the spread of COVID-19. Picture: Richard Dobson
Professor Paul Kelly, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, addressing the media about new restrictions and advice for Australians on how to deal with the spread of COVID-19. Picture: Richard Dobson

It comes after Mr Morrison lashed the hundreds of people photographed on Bondi Beach yesterday that led to a ban of several Sydney beaches.

"What we saw on the weekend at Bondi Beach would have been done innocently, but negligently done," Mr Morrison said.

"And it is important that serves as a wake-up call for the entire country to ensure they take these social distancing policies very seriously.

"Coronavirus is not a secret. Everybody knows. It is wall-to-wall on every coverage, and every conversation happening around the country today.

Bondi Beach has been closed after hundreds of people defied advice from officials. Picture: Jenny Evans/Getty Images
Bondi Beach has been closed after hundreds of people defied advice from officials. Picture: Jenny Evans/Getty Images

"There is no excuse to say you do not know. You have to keep your healthy distance between each other. If Australians cannot do that, if they can't do that on a broader scale, they are denying the government and authorities the most important weapon we have to save lives and to save livelihoods.

"States and territories will have to take more severe responses to deal with that. We are simply appealing to people to show common sense, to respect each other and do the right thing when it comes to following these very simple rules."

Prof Kelly also took aim at businesses - such as pubs - for failing to enforce proper social distancing.

"Pubs and clubs need to be taking this seriously. I recognise that the states and territories have powers themselves. The national government also has powers to enforce some of these things. We will be looking at those things very carefully," he said.

Rangers and Lifeguards informing the public to leave or they would receive a $350 fine on Bondi. Picture: Gaye Gerard/Daily Telegraph
Rangers and Lifeguards informing the public to leave or they would receive a $350 fine on Bondi. Picture: Gaye Gerard/Daily Telegraph

Prof Kelly added he'd witnessed "innovative" ways businesses were enforcing social distancing methods.

"I have seen some really excellent and innovative things happening already in several parts of Australia. I went past the pub the other night and saw that they had washing facilities at the entrance. A fantastic thing," he said.

"Others with a sign saying, 'We will be limiting the number of people coming in,' extra spacing of tables. These are practical things, and it fantastic to see businesses as well as individuals taking these messages on board."

Originally published as New warning: 'Young people are dying'



Floods? Fires? Our region’s spring-summer forecast revealed

Premium Content Floods? Fires? Our region’s spring-summer forecast revealed

See how the region’s weather is shaping up for the remainder of 2020

COURT BRIEFS: Convictions recorded in Grafton court

Premium Content COURT BRIEFS: Convictions recorded in Grafton court

From supplying and possessing prohibited drugs to negligent driving, here are some...

FINAL TRIBUTE: Read the touching eulogy to Win Jefferies

Premium Content FINAL TRIBUTE: Read the touching eulogy to Win Jefferies

After 108 years, read the eulogy to Win Jefferies delivered by her...