Monday’s Four Corners “Pandemic: The fight to contain coronavirus” by Sean Nicholls investigates how the virus spread to Australia.
“The health battle is the battle that all Australians are enlisted in as we fight this virus.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison, 22 March
The Prime Minister has effectively placed Australia on a war footing to fight the coronavirus pandemic. For some, the realisation of the deadly danger posed by COVID 19 is only now sinking in. Others have been sounding the alarm for weeks.
“What doctors understand, probably better than anyone, is you can’t dodge the truth.” Senior doctor
On Monday, Four Corners investigates how coronavirus spread to Australia, laying the groundwork for the crisis that is now unfolding.
“From the moment he walked in the door, we were concerned…I guess it was a shock when we did see our first patient…I think the reaction was…’here we go’.” Doctor treating coronavirus patient
In interviews with frontline medical workers, doctors talk about being confronted with virus for the first time.
“I think the adrenaline kicks in. The thing that I remember most was a sense of teamwork…doctors really coming together and saying how are we going to tackle this? Because we had people in our waiting rooms.” Head of Infectious Diseases at a major hospital
Patients describe what it’s like to realise they may have unwittingly infected many others.
“I burst into tears because I was so shocked. Then, they told me, ‘We will send an ambulance for you right now.’… I was upset as I had been in contact with people. I had looked after my clients.” Coronavirus patient
The program investigates how the virus has spread around the country and whether critical mistakes have been made.
“When we got off the plane and went through customs there was a table with some information which I picked up and had a read of…there was no screening. Nothing, nothing at all.” Coronavirus patient
Health practitioners are worried by the mixed messaging coming out of different levels of government.
“The government’s composed of good people, but it’s an incredibly inefficient system and we’re not surprised that the response has been to have mixed messages, conflicting messages.” Senior doctor
Despite the unprecedented restrictions being introduced every few days, some are worried that the nation, and our health workers are dangerously exposed.
“For the staff, people on my team, the people here at the hospital, this is going to be one of the toughest years of our lives.” Head of Infectious Diseases at a major hospital
Monday 30th March at 8.30pm on ABC.