14/01/2022 - 14:42

Businesses must prepare: Miller

14/01/2022 - 14:42

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Hepa filters, CO2 monitors and N95 masks should be on the list for WA businesses as they prepare for state borders to reopen, Andrew Miller says.

Businesses must prepare: Miller
Dr Miller told Business News there were steps local businesses should take to prepare. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Hepa filters, CO2 monitors and N95 masks should be on the list for WA businesses as they prepare for state borders to reopen, Andrew Miller says.

The Omicron wave of COVID-19 has decimated economies on the east coast in recent weeks, with spending collapsing and high levels of absenteeism driven by the virus.

WA will be reopening its borders to interstate travellers in just three weeks.

Data from ANZ showed spending in Sydney and Melbourne in early January fell to levels comparable to lockdown lows.

Supply chains have been disrupted, with supermarkets struggling to fill shelves, while Western Roads Federation chief executive Cam Dumesny has warned WA may face similar problems after the February 5 reopening.

Anaesthetist and former Australian Medical Association WA president Andrew Miller told Business News there were steps local businesses should take to prepare.

Those include use of Hepa air filters and carbon dioxide monitors, while the public should also adopt N95 masks, which will offer better protection than more common options. 

CO2 monitors can help venues track if air flow is sufficient. 

Dr Miller said Western Australians had shown they could adapt easily to precautions to stop COVID.

“If you’ve got a restaurant, a pub… the best thing you can do right now is make sure customers can breathe fresh air,” he said.

The state government would also need to ensure it continued using quarantining, testing and isolation, as with the Doherty Institute’s modelling for reopening.

He said booster doses and vaccination for younger children would also help manage an outbreak if the borders were to reopen.

“People think by having a big wave you can get it over with, all that happens is you get another variant,” Dr Miller said.

“Healthy people means a healthy economy, that’s been shown everywhere.”

See the January 17th edition of Business News magazine for our analysis of the state’s healthcare system.

Reopening concerns

Shadow treasurer Steve Thomas said the state government had not done enough to help businesses plan to manage the impact of COVID-19 if it arrives after a border reopening.

“When COVID inevitably arrives into our bubble, the impact on the community and particularly businesses will depend on the response plan the government has in place,” Dr Thomas said. 

“That plan should be available to businesses well in advance of the opening, because for the vulnerable, uncertainty risks their very existence.

“Business and industry are crying out for a coherent plan to be made public, but the government seems unable to deliver one.

“That business should be asked to support a delay while the McGowan Government gets a plan together reflects years of inertia and wasted time. 

“The date should not change; instead, the government should do its job properly and release an adequate plan for the inevitable.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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