Non-political inquiry to launch to examine Australia's COVID-19 pandemic response

(Xinhua) 11:20, April 04, 2022

CANBERRA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- A group of philanthropic organizations have joined to fund an inquiry into Australia's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group including the Minderoo Foundation announced they will fund a non-political inquiry into Australia's handling of COVID-19.

As of Sunday, there had been more than 6,000 coronavirus deaths in total in Australia and approximately 4.5 million confirmed cases. The number of new cases reported in the previous 24 hours was 47,520, according to Department of Health.

Former public servant Peter Shergold has been appointed to lead the review, which is due to report back in September.

The inquiry will not have the power to compel witnesses to give evidence but Shergold said he was hopeful governments would voluntarily engage with it.

"This is not intended to be a politically partisan hatchet job. It is trying to say, there will be future pandemics, there will be future health crises, and what can we learn from this experience over the last two years?" he was quoted by Nine Entertainment newspapers on Monday.

"I am certain that whilst we will focus on health crises, as we start to do this there will also probably be implications for the other sorts of crises that governments now face on a regular basis, whether environmental or financial."

In addition to Shergold, the panel will include some former diplomats and infectious disease experts.

They have called for public input but Shergold said submissions should be relatively short at approximately 1,500 words on what did and didn't work.

"We want this relatively short and sharp and our report very clear to read on what are the lessons we can learn from this," he said. 

(Web editor: Xue Yanyan, Bianji)


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