Attacks on contact tracing ‘hurts real people’, says Victoria’s top doc

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has hit back on Twitter after the work of contact tracers was criticised at a press conference this morning.

The normally placid doctor took umbrage at a question asked in Melbourne about how the state was “getting contact tracing so wrong”.

Dr Sutton declared the question “absurd”.

“Contact tracing is an integral part of how to get control. It does not do magic,” he said.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton. (Simon Schluter)

“When an individual is not infectious and happens to have breached out of hotel quarantine and they are in the community, if they are not infectious, there is nothing to respond to.”

On Twitter this afternoon, Dr Sutton said Victoria’s contact tracers do “extraordinary work”.

“I think I’ve been pretty calm over the last 16 months and I hope I’ve always been respectful,” he tweeted.

“But I will get fired up when contact tracers are attacked.”

Vaccination queues at the Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Vaccination queues at the Exhibition Building, Melbourne (AFR)

Dr Sutton said the “false narrative” hurts real people.

“Now is not the time to try to find an imaginary scapegoat,” he said.

“It’s the time to support Victorians going through another really tough time.”

This comes as the state prepares to enter a seven-day lockdown.

So far there have been 26 coronavirus cases associated with the latest outbreak in Melbourne, including 11 announced today.

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