AS NSW comes out of some of its COVID lockdowns next week, a leading surgeon has issued a grim warning that the move could lead to thousands of deaths.
Nowra-based surgeon Professor Martin Jones has taken to Twitter saying the "joy of opening this state needs to be tempered by the 1000's of people who will need to attend funerals over the next 6 months for those killed by this virus."
"And it won't just be the unvaccinated!" he continued.
Next Monday there will be approx 2 million people in NSW unvaccinated.— Martin jones (@Martinj70070576) October 6, 2021
The joy of opening this state needs to be tempered by the 1000’s of people who will need to attend funerals over the next 6 months for those killed by this virus- & it won’t be just the unvaccinated!
His tweet started with the fact that "Next Monday there will be approx 2 million people in NSW unvaccinated."
The tweet comes after new NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced a host of changes under a revised roadmap for NSW as of Monday, (October 11).
Among a raft of fresh changes, indoor pools will open, schools will return earlier and masks will be mandatory in offices only until 80 per cent of vaccination rate is achieved.
NSW, on Wednesday, only passed the 70 per cent double vaccination rate.
In other changes, regional workers will be able to return to work with one dose of vaccination, with a grace period until November 1 for them to receive a second dose.
Home visitations and outdoor gatherings would also grow, with home visits doubling to a cap of 10 not including children under 10 from Monday.
Outdoor gatherings can comprise up to 30 people while weddings and funerals will be capped at 100 guests rather than the 50 initially flagged.
At 80 per cent the state will remove the need to wear masks within offices, with a 3000 cap of major events to stay but exemptions can be sought for particular venues.
"We know that this is not just a health crisis, it's an economic crisis as well," Mr Perrottet said.
"It's going to be a difficult road ahead, we know that, but come Monday NSW gets back on track as we start to open up."
Professor Jones' view is well founded when you consider that in a number of even highly vaccinated countries around the world there have still been significant deaths.
Professor Jones has long been an advocate for mask wearing during the pandemic and even did a story with Australian Community Media in July last year to highlight the fact and encourage locals to "don a mask" for their "own safety".
He himself suffers from a lung condition which requires him to take steroids regularly and makes him particularly vulnerable should he contract COVID-19 and has donned a mask whenever he "mixed with people".
He said at the time "the mask offers another line of defence along with social distancing and scrupulous hand hygiene".
He said everyone in the community needed to realise they are the front line in the fight against the virus.