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Boss of biotech company tasked with making coronavirus vaccine slams Dan Andrews' lockdown strategy

The boss of one of Australia’s biggest biotech companies has slammed Daniel Andrews’ road map out of lockdown as a disaster and has warned there may never be a successful coronavirus vaccine.

CSL chairman Brian McNamee described the Victorian Premier’s ‘map for misery’ as the most crushing policy for a dynamic city such as Melbourne as it recovers from a second horror coronavirus wave.

He also warned against the federal and state governments to assume a vaccine was on its way after Australia’s hopes for a vaccine being developed in the UK was put on hold earlier this week.

Australia's hopes for a vaccine suffered a setback this week after one being developed in the UK was paused. Pictured is a woman at drug company AstraZeneca's headquarters in Sydney

Australia’s hopes for a vaccine suffered a setback this week after one being developed in the UK was paused. Pictured is a woman at drug company AstraZeneca’s headquarters in Sydney

The Melbourne businessman says he don’t know anyone who supports Premier Andrews’ plan of the city’s strict stage four lockdowns. 

‘The Premier is saying his opinion won’t change because of anger, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t think he even understands the severity of what is occurring, both in the economy and also in the human consequences,’ Mr McNamee told the Herald Sun.

Australian’s second largest city will remain in stage four lockdown until at least September 28 after Premier Andrews extended it by two weeks on Sunday. 

Regional Victoria remains under stage three restrictions which allows residents to leave home for essential purposes.Dr McNamee accused Premier Andrews of not understanding the severe impact lockdowns have had on the economy and or the human consequences.

CSL chairman Brian McNamee has described the Premier's road map out of lockdown as a disaster and a 'map of misery'. Pictured are police patrolling Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall on Thursday, which remains under stage four lockdown until at least September 28

CSL chairman Brian McNamee has described the Premier’s road map out of lockdown as a disaster and a ‘map of misery’. Pictured are police patrolling Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall on Thursday, which remains under stage four lockdown until at least September 28

He’s among a host of business and community leaders who have slammed the Premier’s plan out of lockdown this week.

Others included Australian Workers’ Union state secretary Ben Davis, Kmart Group managing director Ian Bailey, Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey, Australian Retailers Association chief Paul Zahra and Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

Dr McNamee also had a dire warning regarding the coronavirus vaccine, despite  CSL being charged as one of the companies to manufacture it in Australia. 

He believes Victorian government’s lockdown strategy relies on a vaccine but warned it may be ‘a very long way off’.

‘We can’t bank on a vaccine. I think the treatments are improving but we have to learn to live with COVID. We have to manage it,’ Dr McNamee  told the Herald Sun. 

The road map out of Melbourne lockdown has been described as a crushing policy by one businessman. Pictured are Melburnians soaking up the sunshine in the CBD on Thursday

The road map out of Melbourne lockdown has been described as a crushing policy by one businessman. Pictured are Melburnians soaking up the sunshine in the CBD on Thursday

Australia’s hopes for a coronavirus vaccine are under threat after trials in the UK were paused over major safety concerns.

Late-stage studies of AstraZenec’s vaccine candidate are on hold after a patient became seriously ill on Tuesday.

The jab being developed at Oxford University is the only overseas candidate that Australia has agreed to buy while other developed countries have signed several deals.

Australia has only one deal to buy a vaccine from overseas – the Oxford one with Prime Minister Scott Morrison under pressure to sign more deals. 

Dr McNamee wasn’t surprised about the vaccine trial pause. 

‘We’ve said all along everyone is working incredibly hard, we’re cautiously optimistic, but there are risks and that’s why at CSL we’ve got two vaccines we could manufacture because the likelihood of both working is not high,’ he said.

Victoria recorded 76 new cases and 11 more deaths on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured left at Astra Zeneca's Sydney headquarters on August 19) is under pressure to to sign more deals get Australia a vaccine

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured left at Astra Zeneca’s Sydney headquarters on August 19) is under pressure to to sign more deals get Australia a vaccine

MELBOURNE’S ROADMAP OUT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:

Step one: The first step will come in to place on September 13.

Step two: The second step will be implemented when Melbourne has 30-50 COVID-19 cases a day on average over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on September 28. 

Step three: The move to step three will occur when there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on October 26.

Step four: The move to step four will come when there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on November 23.

COVID Normal: After 28 days of no new COVID-19 cases, things will return to normal. 

Step one – 11.59pm on September 13:

Curfew will be eased to 9pm-5am

People can still only leave home for the four reasons (shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention)

Public gatherings increased to two people, or a household, for a maximum of two hours

 Singles can have one nominated person to their home as part of the ‘singles social bubble’ 

Childcare and early educators to remain closed

Schools will continue to learn remotely unless they have exemptions

 Adult education to continue to be done remotely, unless they have exemption

 Only go to work if you are in a permitted industry 

– Cafes and restaurants will continue with take away only

– Retail businesses will remain open for essential shopping, with others only operating with click and collect

– Only one person per household can do the essential shopping 

Step two – September 28:

Public gatherings increase again to five people from a maximum of two households

Childcare and early educators can re-open

Schools to continue with remote learning, but Prep to Grade Two and Year 11 and Year 12 students will gradually return to class in Term 4 

 There will be an increase to permitted workplaces

Step three – October 26:

Curfew is no longer in place

There are no restrictions on leaving home

Public gatherings increase to 10 people together outdoors

 A ‘household bubble’ will be introduced, so five people from one house can visit another 

Remote learning to continue, but Grades 3 to Year 11 can gradually return to class

– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, but hands on classes will see a phased return to onsite 

 Work from home is encouraged

– Up to 10 people can eat together at restaurants and cafes, with the majority of tables outdoor

– Retail shops to reopen, with hairdresses operating under safety measures but beauty stores to remain closed

– Real estate agents can conduct private inspections by appointment

– The one person per household limit on shopping is to be revoked 

Step four – November 23:

Public gatherings to increase to 50 people outdoors

 Up to 20 visitors can attend a home at any one time

 All adult education will return to onsite with safety measures in place

– Groups limited to 20 indoors and a maximum of 50 patrons per venue

– All retail stores to reopen, while real estate agents can operate with safety measures and by keeping a record of attendants

Step five – COVID normal:

Public gatherings have no restriction

 There will also be no restriction on visitors to homes

– Phased return to onsite work for work from home workers

  Schools to reopen as normal

– Restrictions on hospitality removed, but venues to continue keeping records 

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Boss of biotech company tasked with making coronavirus vaccine slams Dan Andrews' lockdown strategy