• President of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association, Dr Kristopher Rallah-Baker speaks to NITV News. (NITV News. )Source: NITV News.
The peak of the COVID-19 virus may be yet to come according to a leading Indigenous doctor, who says he is particularly concerned about risks to Indigenous people in rural and remote communities.
Douglas Smith

18 Mar 2020 - 1:27 AM  UPDATED 18 Mar 2020 - 1:38 AM

The President of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association has predicted the worst of COVID-19 is yet to come, with the virus most likely to "peak" over the next three-months. 

On Monday, President of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), Dr Kristopher Rallah-Baker, told NITV News he was particularly worried about people living in Indigenous communities who he said were most vulnerable to the virus. 

“The modelling says that the peak of this at the moment might come around May or June," said Dr Rallah-Baker.

“The diseases we have are often complex, particular diabetes which is intensively worse in our mob..that means that there’s a potential there that COVID-19 will hit our mob harder.

“The taskforce formed reasonably early on in the crisis and have been working very, very closely together to address the response to government and the response to communities on how to best manage COVID-19 for our populations and our mob.”

Dr Rallah-Baker said the modelling was important as it assisted medical authorities in implementing effective strategies around the predicted spike and decline of new cases of COVID-19.

Currently the AIDA is working closely with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), with a joint taskforce of leaders in Indigenous health to combat the spread of COVID-19 to Indigenous communities.

The taskforce is planning to minimise the likelihood of remote communities being exposed to COVID-19, by increasing their capacity to evacuate early cases and enable an effective response if an outbreak occurs.

Meanwhile, hundreds more doctors around the country have penned an open letter to state and federal governments demanding strict lockdowns and more social distancing, as the number of confirmed cases begins to surge in every state and territory. 

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