The COVID-19 pandemic in Australia: Public health responses, opportunities and challenges

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Epidemiology | Health Policy | Infectious Disease | International Public Health | Virus Diseases


In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, each country is presented with both opportunities and challenges, some unique and some shared with the global community. It is important to not only recognize, but to embrace them as drivers of the public to the current pandemic success. In this commentary, we discuss the opportunities and challenges that may affect ongoing public health programming in Australia within the current context of epidemiology. COVID-19 within Australia has to date been effectively suppressed through the implementation of nationally coordinated, in which the state delivered public policy, guidelines and practice, and successful establishment of a comprehensive testing, contact tracing, patient isolation and contact quarantine regime combined with national and state social distancing, hygiene etiquette and movement restrictions. However, despite its success to date great challenges lay ahead for future public health policy with the threat of a second wave, or more likely, multiple smaller outbreaks across various population centres. Therefore, policies that aim to balance the twin socioeconomic and health impacts are crucial. The experience of Australia in managing its COVID-19 response can provide a case study for other countries to reshape or adapt their policies and actions in the context of emerging global health crises.


Australia, COVID-19, challenges, commentary, opportunities, pandemic, responses

DOI of Published Version



Van Nguyen H, Lan Nguyen H, Thi Minh Dao A, Van Nguyen T, The Nguyen P, Mai Le P, Duy Vu K, Thi Ngoc Tran A, Kim Dao P, Thi Nguyen C, Debattista J. The COVID-19 pandemic in Australia: Public health responses, opportunities and challenges. Int J Health Plann Manage. 2021 Sep 7. doi: 10.1002/hpm.3326. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34490663. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The International journal of health planning and management

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID