Experts Warn There Are Far More Covid Cases In Australia Than The Numbers Reported
Epidemiologists warn there are certainly far more Omicron cases than officially reported
Australias Covid case numbers are likely much higher than is currently being reported, with epidemiologists calling for random sampling to discover the true rate in the community.
At the peak of the first Omicron wave earlier this year, there were estimates that cases were up to 10 times higher than officially reported due to lengthy PCR wait times and the nationwide shortage of rapid antigen tests.
While testing queues have subsided and rapid antigen tests are now widely available, experts are still concerned the true number of cases within the community is higher than official reports.
Between 1 and 30 March, the number of daily Covid cases in Australia more than doubled from 25,017 to 61,331. New South Wales recorded the highest number on Wednesday with 25,235 cases, while there were 11,749 in Victoria and 10,626 in Queensland.
Asymptomatic infections and a lack of accountability to ensure people record positive rapid antigen tests mean many cases are missed, according to Adrian Esterman, a professor of biostatistics at the University of South Australia.
There are certainly far more cases than officially reported. This is primarily because about 30% of people infected with Omicron have no symptoms and, therefore, are unlikely to get tested, he said.
Key Updates For Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Communities 20 May 2022
This update provides information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households and communities to stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak, and information about the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Things can change quickly so its important to stay up to date.
- Pastor George Mann reminds us to be careful where we get our COVID-19 advice
- Dont forget your flu vaccine this year!
- The change in the dose interval
Our Coverage Of The Coronavirus Pandemic
In the United States
Even with coronavirus cases on the rise, millions of Americans are expected to take to the skies and roads Memorial Day weekend, in what is likely to be one of the busiest travel periods since the start of the pandemic.
White House officials said that they were introducing new models for distributing Paxlovid, the Covid-19 pill made by Pfizer, in an effort to get the treatment to more people and keep death rates relatively low even as cases increase.
Around the World
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Australia: Biweekly Deaths: Where Are Confirmed Deaths Increasing Or Falling
Why is it useful to look at biweekly changes in deaths?
For all global data sources on the pandemic, daily data does not necessarily refer to deaths on that day but to the deaths reported on that day.
Since reporting can vary significantly from day to day irrespectively of any actual variation of deaths it is helpful to look at a longer time span that is less affected by the daily variation in reporting. This provides a clearer picture of where the pandemic is accelerating, staying the same, or reducing.
The first map here provides figures on the number of confirmed deaths in the last two weeks. To enable comparisons across countries it is expressed per million people of the population.
And the second map shows the percentage change over this period: blue are all those countries in which the death count in the last two weeks was lower than in the two weeks before. In red countries the death count has increased.
This scatter chart provides another way of seeing the extent of testing relative to the scale of the outbreak in different countries.
The chart shows the daily number of tests against the daily number of new confirmed cases , both per million people.
Should We Be Doing This
For much of the pandemic, Australia aimed for zero Covid cases, employing regular lockdowns and extremely strict border policies. And it worked the nations Covid mortality rate has been among the lowest in the world.
But as the pandemic ground on, the government decided restrictions could start to be dramatically loosened when a state or territory vaccinated 80 percent of its over-16 population. All states and territories achieved this in the final months of last year.
Practices that had become part of everyday life, such as wearing masks in certain settings and checking into venues via government apps for contact tracing purposes, were soon relaxed.
Alexandra Martiniuk, a professor and epidemiologist at the University of Sydney, said the timing of Australias U-turn was not ideal.
really got down to very few restrictions, just as there was the emergence of omicron. Scientists, other experts and also some in the public were asking, Hey, is this smart? We actually dont know omicron well enough. Should we be doing this? she said.
We should have changed our plan when we saw omicron arrive. We barged straight into a dark room without knowing what was in there.
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What Can We Learn From Australias Covid
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Melburnians adjust to normal life post COVID-19 lockdown. People enjoy … outdoor dining along the Yarra River on November 19, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.
Australias Covid-19 response has been the envy of many countries with Dr. Fauci recently praising the country for being a world leader on containment and management of emerging variants. Aside from a few brief snap lockdowns in certain states, most Australians have been enjoying a relatively normal life with the Broadway production of Hamilton recently opening in Sydney to full capacity theaters.
Figure 1: Covid-19 cases in Australia throughout the pandemic
John Hopkins University via Google
1) Act quickly and decisively based on incoming data
When Covid-19 first became a real threat to Australia in March last year, the Federal government responded quickly closing international borders and implementing a mandatory home isolation program for returning Australian citizens. Police were dispatched to homes to check that returned travelers were adhering to quarantine requirements and when breaches were discovered, Australia quickly moved to a mandatory hotel quarantine system in which hotel rooms were often guarded by police or military. The states and territories also temporarily shut their borders down for the first time since 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic.
2) Bipartisan unity is essential to an emergency response
3) Social capital builds trust amongst the public
What You Need To Know
- If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places.
- In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
- In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
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Australia: Biweekly Cases: Where Are Confirmed Cases Increasing Or Falling
Why is it useful to look at biweekly changes in confirmed cases?
For all global data sources on the pandemic, daily data does not necessarily refer to the number of new confirmed cases on that day but to the cases reported on that day.
Since reporting can vary significantly from day to day irrespectively of any actual variation of cases it is helpful to look at a longer time span that is less affected by the daily variation in reporting. This provides a clearer picture of where the pandemic is accelerating, staying the same, or reducing.
The first map here provides figures on the number of confirmed cases in the last two weeks. To enable comparisons across countries it is expressed per million people of the population.
And the second map shows the percentage change over this period: blue are all those countries in which the case count in the last two weeks was lower than in the two weeks before. In red countries the case count has increased.
This chart shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths per day.
Three points on confirmed death figures to keep in mind
All three points are true for all currently available international data sources on COVID-19 deaths:
We provide more detail on these three points in our page on Deaths from COVID-19.
Australians Upset With Government As Covid Cases Grow Despite Lengthy Lockdown
Australia has been the most locked-down country since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, but residents are growing frustrated with cases still rising.
In recent months, Australia’s government has gone from the “COVID-zero” approach to “live with it,” leaving many of their residents confused.
“Omicron has changed everything,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week. “My government is for keeping Australia open and pushing through.”
Strict border policies and a high vaccination rate kept Australia largely sealed off for two years. In Melbourne in October 2021, the city began to lift its restrictions however, Omicron caused the COVID-19-free paradise to ultimately lockdown once again.
Australians are questioning why their country is infested with the virus after doing everything it could to stop it.
“Tell your population, ‘Stay in your houses, you can’t go past your letterbox after 8 p.m. for days and months on end.’ And then you’re told, ‘Okay, we’ve put in the hard yards,'” Melbourne resident Rav Thomas told the Associated Press. Thomas owns Anthem Entertainment, an entertainments and events company whose bookings are drying up and it’s facing its 23rd consecutive month of financial loss.
Australia’s vaccine program began much later than many other Western countries, so a large portion of the population is not yet qualified for a booster.
“We could manage the wave, but there’s no political will to do so,” she said.
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Local Overseas Acquired And Under Investigation Cases By States And Territories
This table shows the number of cases by source of infection in the last 24 hours and last 7 days as well as the number of active cases that have occurred in Australia.
State and territory totals reflect where a person has been tested and public health management occurred, which may differ from their normal place of residence.
The majority of total confirmed cases and deaths are from Victoria.
The number of confirmed cases and deaths reported in each state and territory since the first case was reported in late January 2020. State and territory totals reflect where a person has been tested and public health management occurred, which may differ from their normal place of residence.
As per the COVID-19 national guidelines, a COVID-19 confirmed case is a person who:
- tests positive to a validated specific SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test or
- has the virus isolated in cell culture, with PCR confirmation using a validated method or
- undergoes a seroconversion to or has a significant rise in SARS-CoV-2 neutralising or IgG antibody level .
Probable and historical cases are currently included in the total number of cases reported by some jurisdictions, these are defined as per the COVID-19 national guidelines.
Probable and historical cases are currently included in the total number of cases reported by some jurisdictions, these are defined as per the COVID-19 national guidelines.
The method used to estimate the number of active cases varies by jurisdiction.
Australia: Daily Confirmed Deaths: How Do They Compare To Other Countries
This chart shows the daily confirmed deaths per million people of a countrys population.
Why adjust for the size of the population?
Differences in the population size between countries are often large, and the COVID-19 death count in more populous countries tends to be higher. Because of this it can be insightful to know how the number of confirmed deaths in a country compares to the number of people who live there, especially when comparing across countries.
For instance, if 1,000 people died in Iceland, out of a population of about 340,000, that would have a far bigger impact than the same number dying in the United States, with its population of 331 million.1 This difference in impact is clear when comparing deaths per million people of each countrys population in this example it would be roughly 3 deaths/million people in the US compared to a staggering 2,941 deaths/million people in Iceland.
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Australia Is Betting On Remote Quarantine Heres What I Learned On The Inside
The pandemic has reinforced countries peculiar currents of national identity. In Australia, its a collectivist urge, sometimes at the expense of personal liberty.
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By Damien Cave
HOWARD SPRINGS, Australia On Day 8 of my two-week stay at Australias only remote, dedicated facility for Covid quarantine, I called my 11-year-old daughter at home in Sydney to ask how her day at school had gone. All I heard was a long pause.
Dad, she said. Its Saturday.
I looked out the window as if my confusion could be cleared by the brown all around me the single-story metal lodging, the pathways, the bags of food that had just been dropped off by workers in face shields. It was not yet 5 p.m. and they were delivering dinner?
Such is life in a former mining camp near the northern tip of the country, in a place called Howard Springs a temporary home for hundreds of domestic and international travelers being forced to wait around long enough to prove theyre Covid-free.
Australia stands nearly alone in its bet on quarantine infrastructure as a long-term answer to the pandemic. Two more camps, each with a capacity of about 2,000 people, are being built outside Brisbane and Melbourne, and Sydney and Perth may not be far behind. The sites, called centers for national resilience, are an embodiment of the countrys commitment to Covid zero.
What Australia Has Done So Far
Australias approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has differed from that of most Western states or the northern hemisphere in general.
Australia has handled the pandemic better than many other nations, experiencing a relatively low rate of infections and recording comparatively fewer deaths. It has owed this success to border closures, strict lockdowns, and rigorous contact tracing.
Since March 2020, the country has largely prohibited overseas arrivals, except for returning Australians and residents and those with exemptions, including visitors from New Zealand. However, 14-day hotel quarantines were mandated for all other international arrivals.
The country was in the process of gradually reopening its borders, with reports of a travel bubble for the United Kingdom or the United States starting to circulate in the media. However, recent outbreaks of the delta variant have prompted the government to keep measures in place and ease at a slower, more controlled pace.
Last week, the government announced that the number of international arrivals would be halved, to 3,000 people per week, starting from July 14.
Fewer than 31,000 reported cases and 910 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic have been a testament to Australias successful COVID-19 strategy, which has been termed COVID zero.
Just two new COVID-19 cases were enough for Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, to go into a 3-day lockdown.
In comparison, Prof. Schaffner told MNT, the U.S. has not been as successful.
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People’s Republic Of China
The was reestablished in February 1950 with its headquarters in Wuhan. From June to September 1954, the were a series of catastrophic floodings that occurred mostly in Hubei Province. Due to an unusually high volume of precipitation as well as an extraordinarily long rainy season in the middle stretch of the Yangtze River late in the spring of 1954, the river started to rise above its usual level in around late June. In 1969, a large stone monument was erected in the riverside park in Hankou honoring the heroic deeds in fighting the 1954 Yangtze River floods.
Before construction of the , built two extra heavy locomotives for loading the for crossing the Yangtze River in Wuhan.
The project of building the , also known as the First Yangtze River Bridge, was regarded as one of the key projects during the first five-year plan. On October 25, 1955, construction began on the bridge proper. The same day in 1957, the whole project was completed and an opening-to-traffic ceremony was held on October 15. The First Yangtze River Bridge united the with the into the , making Wuhan a ‘thoroughfare to nine provinces’ in name and in fact.
After Chengdu Conference, Mao went to Chongqing and Wuhan in April to inspect the countryside and factories. In Wuhan, he called all the leaders of provinces and municipalities who had not attended Chengdu Conference to report their work. Tian Jiaying, the secretary of Mao, said that Wuhan Conference was a supplement to Chengdu Conference.