From The Australian Covid Medical Network. Below is their full statement, issued this week.

It has become increasingly clear that the response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus by the Victorian  government is now doing more harm than good, and will cause more deaths and result in far more  negative health effects than the virus itself and risks creating Victoria’s worst ever public health  crisis. 

Many Australian doctors and other health professionals consider the lockdown measures to be  disproportionate, not scientifically based, unilaterally authoritarian and the cause of widespread  suffering for many Victorians.  

Thereby, we Australian Doctors and Health Professionals, in solidarity with thousands of  international doctors, call for the cessation of all disproportionate measures that contravene the  International Siracusa Principles. 

These Siracusa Principles are part of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to  which Australia is a signatory, and are recommended by the World Health Organisation. They require all public health management policies to meet standards of legality, evidence-based  necessity and proportionality, and that they recognise our basic, universal and non-derogable  human rights. 

Of particular concern is the needless harm and suffering being experienced by the young, especially children and adolescents, by the denial of normal social interactions such as play,  schooling and relationships with family and friends.

We hold grave concerns that these effects on  child and adolescent health will impact their future wellbeing for many years to come4. This is  occuring despite the fact that the virus poses a negligible risk to children. 

‘Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of a disease or infirmity’. 

WHO Constitution, 1948. 

We consider the ambition for ‘viral elimination’ and the intent of achieving “zero cases for a period  of time”5, to be both irrational and unachievable, according to the best local and international  evidence. Furthermore, the latest evidence suggests that ‘lockdown measures’ in general have  limited effectiveness in reducing the viral health impacts in the long term.  

Policies such as curfews, local travel restrictions, reduced exercise and outdoor activities, imposed  isolation and the quarantining of the healthy, enforced mask wearing in open spaces, the denial of  children’s play, socialisation and education with friends and peers and the disruption of family  relationships, as well as the arbitrary application of laws, are contrary to common-sense and are  seriously compromising the health of individuals and the wider society.  

Furthermore, these policies have resulted in interruptions and delays of both public and private  health-care services, created unnecessary patient fear and panic, which has adversely impacted  access to general health-care and resulted in delayed presentations of many serious medical  conditions, including cancers and heart disease.

They have also caused a dramatic increase in  mental health problems due to the imposition of isolation and loneliness on the elderly and the  vulnerable, the creation of significant financial and relationship strain for many families and  induced unnecessary levels of fear and anxiety among health-workers and their loved ones. 

These measures are especially concerning given the growing evidence of the very limited virulence  of the SARS-CoV-2 virus for the vast majority of the population. These concerns are amplified when  one considers the serious limitations and problems of PCR Covid swab tests for population  screening and the resultant lack of clarity concerning definitions of ‘Covid cases’ and so called  ‘Covid Deaths’, especially in the setting of Residential Aged Care. 

These measures represent a culture of ‘anti-health’ and a denial of the principles of good medical  practice. Such a disproportionate approach, coupled with a fear-based media narrative comprised  of inadequate and misleading information, is a great concern and must cease as soon as possible. 

It is incumbent on all of us to examine the bigger picture and the terrible harms that have been  inflicted on our society, in the name of a very narrow concept of ‘health’. We must re-evaluate the  importance of our basic rights and freedoms and reflect deeply on what kind of society we wish to  live in.  

We believe there is a better way forward for Victorians and all Australians. A path founded on the  principles of good medical practice, including: 

▪ Openness and Honesty  

▪ Humility and Consultation 

▪ Collaboration and Respect for Autonomy  

▪ To always encourage with Care, Hope and Reassurance; 


Never to provoke Fear, Panic or Terror.  


“…COVID-19 may pose a material risk of substantial injury or prejudice to health of human beings even when the rate of  community transmission of COVID-19 in Victoria is low or there have been no cases of COVID-19 in Victoria for a period of  time.”

In light of these concerns we respectfully call for the following seven actions: 


An open, honest and transparent discussion with the general public, with easily accessible  information made available about the evidence and underlying assumptions used to  inform decisions about the management of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.

This should include, in particular, the evidence to justify the grave impacts on children and adolescents as well  as clear estimates of the broader health and socio-economic costs and impacts.


More collaboration and engagement with a broader range of medical specialists, other healthcare professionals and a diverse group of interdisciplinary leaders who can inform  and assist in responding to the growing public health and socio-economic crisis we are  witnessing, especially among the young, the disadvantaged and the vulnerable in our  community. 


An urgent review of the role of State of Emergency and State of Disaster powers in the  management of public health issues and crises, with consideration given to how other  more democratic approaches could be utilised in the future.


An urgent review of the general management of pandemics in Australia, including an  examination of the need for better communication, coordination and collaboration  between State and Federal Governments.

There is also an urgent need to establish clear  and well-defined ‘stand-down’ parameters, in case of ‘false alarms’ or when it becomes  foreseeable or evidential that the harms of the controlling policies are greater than the  direct health impacts, or fatal potential, of the disease under consideration. 


Consideration of the Commonwealth Government taking on greater responsibility and a  more central role in organising and implementing a coherent and effective nationwide  response in the management of future pandemics and national public health crises.  


Consideration of an international initiative to create reliable and effective ‘early warning  systems’ which would deliver accurate assessments of the dangers and realities of  emerging pandemics, and would assist in more considered and proportionate responses to bio-security threats in the future. 


Finally, we implore the governments of Australia, state and federal, to be ever mindful of  the balance between loss of freedoms and basic rights and the promotion of public health,  never losing sight of the potential for collateral harms to exceed the effects of the disease being managed.