New modelling indicates mandatory masks and strict closures of public spaces early in the state’s second wave could have eradicated the virus

Elimination of Covid-19 has been found to have been achievable in Victoria within six weeks had the state gone into stage-four lockdown with mandatory wearing of masks – but without curfews or 5km travel restrictions – immediately from 9 July, when there were 860 active cases of the virus in the state.

The modelling analysis published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) on Monday also says it was a missed opportunity that “an expert advisory group on elimination was not convened, limiting the capacity for an optimal evidence-informed policy response”.

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