Professor Tarun Weeramanthri, one of the state’s foremost public health physicians, has been deployed to Victoria to help stem the rising tide of COVID-19 infections.
Professor Weeramanthri is the former Chief Health Officer of the Western Australian Department of Health and has been assisting the Western Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet in a health liaison role during the pandemic.
From today, Professor Weeramanthri has been seconded to Victoria’s Health and Human Services for an initial four-week period, and it is anticipated that he will assist with the operational and strategic management of their public health response.
It is not his first secondment, previously contributing to many national disaster and health responses including the 2009 influenza pandemic, Ashmore Reef disaster, Mumbai bombings, Pakistan floods, and major earthquakes in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
Western Australian Department of Health contact tracing teams are also remotely assisting Victoria in establishing key information about cases and identifying close contacts.
Health Minister Roger Cook was confident that Professor Weeramanthri, in addition to the state’s contact tracing support, would make a significant contribution towards Victoria’s fight against COVID-19.
“Professor Weeramanthri has an outstanding list of career highlights demonstrating his great skill in dealing with significant and highly varied disasters and public health crises and I anticipate his contribution to the Victorian response will be highly valuable and appreciated,” Mr Cook said.
“The contact tracing support we are providing brings together public health physicians, doctors, nurses, epidemiologists and support staff whose role in liaising with COVID-19 positive patients and identifying close contacts at risk of contracting the virus has been critical in curbing the virus in WA.”