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Comparing pandemic responses in Australia and the UK: watch our live webinar

Woman wearing a face mask
How (and how not) to contain COVID. Alessio Rinella/unsplash

The UK has been one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, and is currently in the grip of a deadly second wave alongside many of its neighbours in Europe. More than 60,000 people have died of the disease in the UK so far.

Like success stories Taiwan, Vietnam and South Korea, Australia was feted early for its robust response to the crisis, but a second wave engulfed the state of Victoria in July this year after the virus escaped the country’s hotel quarantine system. The capital city of Melbourne entered a lockdown that lasted almost four months and more than 800 people died in the southern state.

Today, Australians are out of lockdown and gathering in groups, going to the theatre and getting ready for Christmas gatherings. Meanwhile, much of the UK remains under heavy restrictions as a long winter looms ahead and the first priority groups receive the new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Yet the countries had similar rates of infection in the middle of this year.

What can the UK and Australia learn from one another, and why were their responses so different?

Containing COVID: comparing pandemic responses in Australia and the UK
Wednesday December 16, 8.30am GMT/7.30pm AEDT. CC BY

The Conversation’s Megan Clement will chair the webinar at 8.30am GMT, 7.30pm AEDT on December 16, with Professor Catherine Bennett, an epidemiologist who has followed Melbourne’s remarkable trajectory from one of the world’s strictest lockdowns to more than a month of zero cases a day and Dr Tom Wingfield, a doctor and infectious diseases expert who has been working on the COVID wards in Liverpool throughout 2020.

You can also watch the webinar via Facebook, YouTube or Twitter from 8.30am GMT/ 7.30pm AEDT on December 16.

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