The message about the road ahead cannot be clearer for the nation’s doctors. Photo: Getty
3 April 2020
Australia’s medical experts have urged the nation’s political leaders to put the economy into a once-in-a-century coma with one goal in mind: Flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases.
The real question is how long will Australia need to maintain such measures given the devastating impact on jobs and businesses across the country?
And, are we still dramatically underestimating the number of cases in Australia because of current limits on testing?
There were 5315 cases of COVID-19 on April 2, while recent decisions to expand the number of people tested could still see cases spike in the coming days.
But there’s promising early signs that the majority of cases are still being imported on international flights, one reason why the national coronavirus cabinet has gone so hard on locking down travellers, including Lara Bingle’s mum, in hotels across Sydney patrolled by the army and police.
Some early cautious positive signs of the curve beginning to flatten thanks to the extraordinary work of Australians – much more to do but we are focussed on containment to bring the rate down, and building capacity with 30,000 new beds and 57,000 nurses https://apple.news/ATvvDYwZIRtiEbH-x3Q1Peg …
Why Australia’s virus death rate is so low
Australia’s Health Minister has revealed why our death rate is so low compared to other nations, with the country now at the “global forefront” of testing.
“We are seeing what I would describe as early promising signs of the curve flattening,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said this week.
“Whilst we are making progress, and whilst we are now flattening the curve in the first early stages of progress, there’s more to do.
“The new measures we have just put in place, we hope will deliver more benefit.”
Flattening the curve means slowing down the rate of infections.
It’s a strategy designed simply to help hospitals manage the flow of cases, so that they don’t overwhelm intensive care units to the point that doctors run out of respirators to help the sick breathe.
Overseas, most of the countries that have seen high rates have simply had so many cases that they could not all secure appropriate medical care.
Even before Prime Minister Scott Morrison ordered a ban on gatherings of 100 people, quickly followed by smaller and smaller gatherings before arriving at the ‘three is a crowd’ rule on Sunday night, it was the death rate in Italy that alarmed medical experts.
Images of empty stadiums full of coffins and trucks transporting the dead in Italian streets shocked the world.
But this graph of the death rate among COVID-19 cases shows that Australia’s is performing much better than Italy, Spain and the United States.
As you can see, Australia’s cumulative deaths is more in line with Japan and Singapore, countries that are regarded as managing the COVID-19 crisis well.