The Informer: There are to words to remember and you've heard them before

Twp words. That's it. All you have to remember, Australia.
Twp words. That's it. All you have to remember, Australia.

Stay home.

Especially after you've had a test.

That message is not especially new today but is possibly the single most used sentiment in the nation right now.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it as he announced eight more deaths and 627 new cases. NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant went there when she announced more positive cases while Tasmania's Premier told Queenslanders from hotspots exactly that, banning them from even entering the Apple Isle.

It's been a long and bleak week on many fronts. Let's not go there again. Suffice to say, the latest Victoria deaths take the state toll to 113 and the national figure to 197.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has included Australia in his list of "countries now having tremendous problems" dealing with the global pandemic.

On July 29 so severe was the situation in the US that it was estimated one person died about every minute from COVID-19 as the national death toll surpassed 150,000.

Elsewhere it's worth noting the goings-on in Hong Kong. According to some reports, the one-time COVID-19 poster city is now up to wave No.3.

Hong Kong initially managed to keep down its infection numbers and avoided the extreme lockdown measures introduced in parts of China, Europe and the US. But still it copped a second wave.

The spike in infections come March was put down to overseas students and residents returning to the territory. Tighter measures were introduced but regardless, wave three has now hit.

Professor Malik Peiris, the Chair of Virology at the University of Hong Kong, blames a few things: allowing people to quarantine at home for 14 days rather than in quarantine camps and exempting several groups of people from testing and quarantine when they entered the territory. Among that group were seafarers, aircrew and executives of companies listed on the stock exchange.

There's also, in the professor's opinion (and in hindsight), the premature rolling back of social distancing measures.

"Many citizens were fatigued after months of social distancing, so when the government said things seem fine and relaxed restrictions, they started meeting with friends and family," Prof Peiris said. "I think it's very unfortunate - many factors combined at the same time."

Any bells ringing, Australia? Refer back to the first two words.

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This story Two words: you've heard them before first appeared on The Canberra Times.