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tas news 7sd pageheader 2019

Coronavirus 628x90

Praise for North-West one year on from lockdown


Premier Peter Gutwein has thanked the North-West community for their efforts in containing COVID-19, twelve months on from the region's tough lockdown.

In a statement, Premier Gutwein said Tasmania is now one of the safest places in the world, thanks to the North-West community's help.

"Our number one priority throughout the pandemic has always been to keep Tasmanians safe, and when it became clear we had an outbreak, we acted swiftly and made the hard but necessary decisions to get on top of it," he said.

"There is no doubt this was an extremely tough time for everyone in the North West, but the strength and resilience of the community shone through and thanks to their efforts, we were able to contain the outbreak and return to a more normal way of living."

One year ago, non-essential businesses in the North-West were shut, health staff at the North West Regional and North West Private hospitals sent into quarantine, and the ADF flown in to help, following an incredibly fast-moving COVID-19 outbreak.

Other Tasmanian municipalities were forced into action, accepting patients at Latrobe and Launceston.

Latrobe Mayor Peter Freshney welcomed the opportunity to help.

"Patients have to be treated somewhere and patients are people, they are members of our community, they have families, and we're not about to ostracize them and leave them out on a limb," Mayor Freshney said at the time.

Premier Gutwein has acknowledged the measures implemented to contain the outbreak were tough, but necessary.

"We knew we had to make the hard decisions needed to get on top of the virus and prevent the outbreak spreading further, as we saw in Victoria," he said.

A report into the outbreak found it most likely began with an infected passenger from the Ruby Princess cruise ship.