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同路人語634 : 不能忽視的危機 A must deal crisis

不能忽視的危機 A must deal crisis

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不能忽視的危機

台灣一直以來都是抗疫典範, 嚴格的入境隔離、在疫症初期人人戴上口罩、建立追蹤系統等。不過在短短數天的大爆發, 卻令大家突然明白, 新冠病毒仍然在我們周圍虎視眈眈, 一個不留神, 抗疫之戰就會失守。

明顯地, 台灣政府不像澳洲政府一般, 沒有從研發疫苗的藥廠取得大劑量疫苗, 又沒有像香港一樣, 從中國政府取得供應, 到現今只能從各種途徑取得約300,000劑疫苗, 已接種疫苗人口不到1%。 再加上超過1年半的抗疫旅程,整個社會已出現抗疫疲勞。一直以來台灣沒有大規模爆發, 可以說是幸運, 今次爆發能否受到控制, 還看這數天疫情的變化。我們為著在台灣的朋友禱告, 求神憐憫眷顧。

仔細看一下, 其實澳洲的情況也好不了多少。維州居民經歷了120天的封閉隔離,心有餘悸。不過, 今天在抗疫路上, 明顯是鬆懈了。維州政府發現在使用公共交通時, 超過一半人沒有戴上口罩; 在使用登入糸統, 很多人都沒有使用二維編碼, 令到一旦2在發現病毒時, 接觸追蹤變得困難。澳洲政府在去年強調社會在等待全民接種疫苗時, 社會進入「新冠常態」, 不過卻從未向社區解釋到底這是怎樣的一回事。我相信保持合理的社交距離, 在公共地方戴上口罩, 及使用登入系統是基本的生活改變。全民接種疫苗是令到澳洲可以脫離「獨家村」(Hermit Kingdom), 讓澳洲恢復國際正常旅行出入的必要條件。

不過, 在疫苗供應不缺之下, 澳洲人對聯邦政府展開的疫苗接種計劃反應冷淡, 呈現了聯邦政府施政的盲點。現時澳洲剛接種了3百萬劑疫苗, 不到10%的人完成兩次注射, 可以說情況並不比台灣好得多。聯邦政府只管負責接種疫苗的流程, 卻忽視要教育、勸說、鼓勵國民盡早接種疫苗。多元文化社區更是重災區, 因為政府根本不重視或認為需要通過多元文化媒體來游說接種疫苗。由於阿斯利康疫苗的一些副作用在不同國家被誇大, 現時在一些受到外國媒體影響的少數族裔中, 已出現了大家都希望別人先接種而自己採取觀望的說法。

要是人人都在等待別人, 很快接種率就不再上升, 要達到群體免疫就遙遙無期。澳洲各級政府一定要正視這情況的出現, 強化對接種疫苗的社區教育, 更要特別針對多元文化社區, 加強力度, 才能真正解決問題。

周偉文 社長

A must deal crisis

Taiwan has been a model in fighting Covid with strict border control, common mask wearing, good contact tracing etc. But an outbreak in a matter of days can tell how dangerous is this virus around all of us.

Obviously Taiwan unlike Australia where we can obtain massive vaccines and unlike Hong Kong where China is in full support. So only 1% of Taiwan population has been vaccinated given a limited supply of 300,000 doses. People are getting anti-epidemic fatigue for after more than a year. Taiwan has been lucky so far but nobody knows what could happen with this round of outbreak. We pray for God’s mercy be with our Taiwanese friends. 

A closer look tells a similar situation in Australia. Victorians have undergone an awful 120-day lockdown; but now people are losing guard again. The government reported that over half of the people on public transport are not wearing masks; and many are not following the QR code system thus making contact tracing hard once community cases happen. The government advised the society should be in a ‘Covid normal’ state before the whole population gets vaccinated, but without explaining how to make it. I think keeping social distancing, wearing masks and signing in with QR code are all basics of our Covid-normal living. Mass vaccination can prevent us from staying as a Hermit Kingdom, freeing us for normal international travelling.

But even with no shortage of vaccines people are sluggish in taking the jabs, this is a blind spot of the government. We are not much better than Taiwan with less than 10% of the population completed two doses with a total of 3 million doses administered. The federal government only works on the vaccination process but with oversight on the necessary education and promotion. This is particularly weak on the ethnic minority communities as the government does not care promoting the need of vaccination through multicultural media. As the side effect of AstraZeneca has been exaggerated in some other countries so some ethnic minority communities in this country relying on their own media platforms choose to wait and see others to take up the jabs first.      

If everyone just keeps waiting then the low injection rate cannot achieve herd immunisation. Australian governments at all levels should address this issue by strengthening community education especially the multicultural sectors to avoid a future crisis. 

Raymond Chow, Publisher