Kerryn Phelps questions NSW-Victoria border coronavirus control
Former Australian Medical Association president Professor Kerryn Phelps AM has criticised the NSW government for its lax approach to border control, and says the state must consider making face coverings compulsory to keep Victoria's escalating second wave of coronavirus at bay.
"I'm concerned that there are still planes coming in from Melbourne to Sydney without any checking, and people just being asked to self-isolate in Sydney when they arrive," Dr Phelps, a City of Sydney councillor, told the ABC's Q&A last night.
"We don't know how many people are actually doing (that)."
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is currently weighing up compulsory hotel quarantine and a cap on flight arrivals from Melbourne as options for tightening the border.
READ MORE:NSW reports 13 new virus cases as premier faces calls to shut Victoria border
But at Sydney Airport last night, 9News reporter Kate Creedon confirmed that passengers leaving flights from the virus hotspot were leaving in taxis and Ubers.
There are fears asymptomatic passengers could pass the virus onto drivers, and then the wider community.
With 17 planes due to land in Sydney from Melbourne today, it is no small cause for concern, Dr Phelps said.
"That's not a closed border. That's a very leaky sieve."
"When we know that there are thousands of active cases in Victoria, there could be up to 10 times as many people who are infected who don't know it. And yet we're just letting people get on planes without having a test.
"It's obvious that NSW is on a precipice, and unless we take this seriously, and unless we actually have an effective closed border, we are going to see leakage of these cases from Victoria over to NSW."
The former AMA President also told the panel she believes NSW needs to "head towards" making face masks compulsory.
"We know with aerosol transmission now, airborne transmission, wearing a mask is some of the best protection that you can have," Dr Phelps said.
READ MORE:How to wear a face mask correctly
"You protect yourself, you protect others.
"There's been a nonsensical debate for months now, which has been so frustrating because it has not been evidence-based, about wearing masks.
"It is one of the single most responsible things that we can do as members of the community to protect each other."
READ MORE:All the latest COVID-19 cases in NSW; get tested if you have been to these venues
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