The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has thrown its full support behind the Victorian Government’s mask plan.
It follows Premier Daniel Andrews and Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas announcing today that more than three million free N95 and KN95 masks will be handed out to people at testing sites, community health services and on public transport over the next four to six weeks.
RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price backed the move.
“This announcement is just what the doctor ordered,” she said.
“The expert advice is clear that masks limit community transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses including influenza. I know that wearing a mask isn’t fun and can be slightly uncomfortable but remember that taking this small step can help drive down COVID-19 numbers across Victoria.
“It’s not just about protecting yourself, by wearing a mask indoors or where social distancing is difficult you can help keep people safe who are particularly vulnerable to severe effects from COVID-19 and the flu. That includes immunocompromised patients, older people, and those with serious health conditions. So, I urge everyone to be community-minded, pick up a free mask and play your part in fighting COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses which are placing such enormous strain on our health system and claiming lives every day.”
The RACGP President urged Victorians not to be complacent.
“Today’s announcement is timely because whether we like it or not COVID-19 case numbers are high and this pandemic is far from over,” she said.
“Together, we can bring down case numbers and ease the strain on our healthcare workers who are doing such a stellar job after an exhausting two-and-a-half-years. On top of wearing a mask, I encourage all eligible people to get vaccinated and boosted, talk to your employer about potentially working at home and catch up with family and friends outside or try to ensure indoor gatherings happen in well-ventilated spaces.
“If you are sick, get tested for COVID-19 and if your test is positive – isolate at home right away. We are all responsible for taking those small but important steps to help limit transmission and save lives.”