Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

The Prime Minister of South Australia has admitted that not all the modeling underlying the state’s COVID-19 roadmap has so far been received by the health authorities and the state government.

Steven Marshall yesterday announced the state’s COVID-Ready plan, which includes the removal of border restrictions for double-vaccinated, incoming travelers from New South Wales, Victoria and ACT on 23 November.

Marshall has acknowledged that the state’s COVID-19 case volume will inevitably increase from that date.

“We will allow the Delta variant to enter southern Australia, but we will only do so when it is safe to do so,” he told parliament.

He said modeling used as the basis of the plan indicated that such a point would be reached once 80 percent of the state’s population had been double-vaccinated.

But the modeling has not been made public – a decision defended by both Prime Minister and Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier, who when asked yesterday about specific figures, said she “would not answer that question” and that the data would be publicly released “when is the right time”.

Nicola Spurrier in a green, blue and white striped top and a pearl necklace
Professor Spurrier yesterday refused to provide details on expected case volumes.(ABC News)

Sir. Marshall admitted today that he had not read all of this information – because some of the modeling had not yet been “completed”.

“The first set has been received here in South Australia, the second set is awaiting, and no, I have not read the second set,” Marshall told Parliament.

Sir. Marshall said the state’s COVID-Ready plan relied on two sets of modeling – the first provided by the Doherty Institute to the National Cabinet, the second by “people who have previously advised the Doherty Institute”.

“They gave us additional advice here in South Australia and it has already been received but more work is being done and we look forward to receiving the final information,” he said.

“We still want to receive this additional information, which will better inform about what public health social measures, and also what test, tracking, isolation and quarantine regimes we are introducing as we get closer to the 90%.

“We are pleased with the information received that we were able to move to remove the restrictions … from 23 November.

“What I can tell the house is that we will publish the advice we have received in a consolidated format.”

SA Premier Steven Marshall addresses the media.
Steven Marshall was asked today about the state’s COVID-Ready roadmap.(ABC News)

But Mr Marshall further admitted that it would not necessarily include the Doherty Institute advice given to the National Cabinet because it “would not be appropriate” without the permission of the federal authorities.

Health Minister Stephen Wade told parliament he had read the Doherty Institute’s research but that “further modeling” would be on the way.

“That’s why I trust the evidence, the science and the expert advice.”

The opposition accused the government of “deliberately withholding” crucial information.

“We have seen other states around the country release their models to the public,” said health spokesman Chris Picton.

“All that modeling … shows very clearly the curves in terms of what the expected number of cases is, what the expected number of admissions is, what the expected number of intensive care units is, what the expected number of deaths is.”

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