Kochie grills Health Minister over extended coronavirus lockdown

Sunrise host David ‘Kochie’ Koch has butted heads with Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos over the state’s controversial roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions.

Koch accused the state government of “going rogue” with their plan and setting “unrealistic” targets that need to be achieved before businesses are allowed to reopen.

It was recently announced that Melbourne’s stage four restrictions will stay in place for an additional two weeks, but from September 14 the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9 pm and run until 5am.

People living by themselves will be able to nominate a friend of family member who can visit them, while two hours of daily exercise will be allowed, including “social interactions” such as having a picnic at a local park or reading a book at the beach.

The curfew won’t be lifted until October 26, with people only permitted to leave their homes for non-essential reasons.

The lockdown will only lift on that date if the average number of daily cases is below five and there are less than five unknown cases.

Koch questioned the Health Minister over this number, saying NSW regularly records more than 5 cases and has not gone back into lockdown.

“This target of getting under five cases a day for 14 days before you get back to any semblance of normal is way different to NSW, which is managing it with an economy that’s relatively open,” he said.

“NSW fluctuates between five cases a day to sometimes in the low teens, but they manage it and keep businesses open, keep kids at school, they keep the economy going and more particularly for the mental health of citizens.”

But Mikakos firmly stood her ground, saying Victoria was in a “different position” to its neighbour.

“New South Wales has done a great job and we acknowledge that, but Victoria is in a different position,” she said.

The Minister said the state’s roadmap was “designed in accordance with the expert advice from our public health officials and based on the modelling we receive.”

“Modelling shows if we go too fast too quickly then we risk having a third wave,” she added.

“We want to bring down our cases significantly before we can safely reopen businesses and other economic activity.”

“If we just have a little more patience then we can get there, but I do acknowledge the huge sacrifice everyone is making.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.