Sumary of 'Oh my God, what have I done?': The moments Victoria's former deputy CHO agonised over:
- Victoria’s former deputy chief health officer has revealed the discussions behind the “billion-dollar-a-week decision” to lock down Victoria, the times the state could have acted earlier and the hardest moments of the job.
- The infectious diseases physician has returned to his roles at Monash University, Alfred Health and as co-chair of Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).
- During his time as one of the state’s most senior health bureaucrats, Professor Cheng helped draft the tough stage 4 restrictions of the second wave and the pathway out.
- Professor Cheng told ABC Radio Melbourne an earlier lockdown in 2020 “would have been the thing that we might have done differently”.
- (ABC News: John Graham)A billion dollars a week riding on lockdown decisionsProfessor Cheng took on the role when hundreds of cases were being recorded daily and the second wave had well and truly seeded in the community.
- “To lock down, obviously as the decisions were made this time as well, is a huge decision to make, and it’s not one that you take lightly, and it’s one that you agonise over, is it worth it?
- “I don’t think I’m giving away state secrets to say when I first had the conversation with the Premier that we probably needed to move into stage 4 restrictions or something more than where we were … that he said, you know, ‘That’s a billion-dollar-a-week decision.
- “They are very difficult decisions, and everyone’s trying their best.