Cases in NSW continue to soar. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Adam YipSource:News Corp Australia
An infectious disease expert says NSW could experience a drop in Covid case numbers as soon as this weekend.
Dr Sanjaya Senanayake told Sunrise the stricter lockdown measures, such as the closure of non-essential retail brought in last weekend, could be reflected in the numbers from the end of the week.
If so, this will bring a welcome relief to residents after the state recorded 110 new cases on Thursday, 43 of which were infectious in the community.
The outbreak that started in Bondi on June 16 has also spread to regional parts of the state with an infection confirmed in Orange.
“One thing that’s important to remember is the new restrictions were brought in on Sunday,” Dr Senanayake said.
People walking along the Cronulla esplanade in the Sutherland Shire. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Adam YipSource:News Corp Australia
“Remembering the virus has an incubation period of about five days on average, (though) it can be a bit longer, and people have to get tested and then we have to have the announcement at the press conference.
“It may in fact be right at the end of this week and the start of next week that we see the benefits from the new restrictions that were brought in over the weekend.”
An epidemiologist on Wednesday blasted the NSW Premier for dismissing a data model that predicted it could take until September for the lockdown rules to suppress the outbreak.
The modelling by the Populations Intervention Unit at the University of Melbourne predicted that it could take as long as 7½ weeks from July 18 when the tough new lockdown rules were put in place to push the community infection numbers down to an acceptable level.
That would mean the lockdown wouldn’t end until the second week of September.
NSW recorded 110 new cases on Wednesday. Picture: NCA Newswire /Gaye GerardSource:News Corp Australia
The researchers said they ran the numbers 10,000 times to account for the high unpredictability of the Delta strain and found the median length of time needed from July 18 was 5.8 weeks, which would mean the numbers would abate by August 27.
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The researchers put the benchmark for successfully suppressing the numbers at five daily cases, on a rolling 14-day average.
When a reporter asked Gladys Berejiklian about the modelling at Wednesday’s press conference, she was dismissive.
“We see versions of lots of modelling,” she replied.
“Remember the modelling we were presented with 18 months ago about the number of cases and deaths which would happen in Australia? That didn’t materialise.”
– additional reporting by Anton Nilsson