A fork in the Road. Which way is Australia going with COVID-19?
Recently the graph of new Covid-19 cases for Australia showed what the authorities thought might be a down-turn in new cases. It certainly appeared that way, as can be seen on the graph below. But does it just appear to be a down-turn in cases? Could it be that the 440 or so cases from the Ruby Princes caused a sudden up-turn in new cases? And now that no more of those original passengers are becoming infected , the number of new cases has dropped back to the original rate of expected new cases. In a nut-shell: Did the Ruby Princess passengers cause a "bump", a temporary up-turn and then a temporary down-turn in new cases. In that case there is no real down-turn in cases. It may just be a 'bump' in the graph, up then down, due to the Ruby Princess passengers. In that case, it is now that the graph of new cases will show which way Australia is heading, and just how effective or ineffective the restrictions (the mitigation strategies) have been so far.
It certainly looks like a down-turn. But is it?
A genuine and much needed down-turn? Or a return to partially effective mitigation after the Ruby Princess "bump" has passed? The next few days might give the answer.
If the apparent down-turn continues then Australia has done well. If the down-turn does not continue, then it will be critically important to know whether the effectiveness of mitigation measures are about 50% or less effective, in which case Australia is in for a long difficult time - or 60% or more effective, in which case we can get through this in a timely manner without new cases swamping our medical teams.
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Dr Michael Cole FRACP LLB