Australia becomes ‘rare’ virus example
New graphs have shown how reactions to the coronavirus pandemic are yielding wildly different results for countries around the world.
As governments around the world scramble to implement social distancing measures to control the spread of the virus, early results are showing how the response is working.
The latest data recorded from Australia, by the Financial Times' John Burn-Murdoch and taken from analysis of the European Centre for Disease and Prevention Control, has shown early signs the country has achieved a "gentle trajectory" of virus growth, an achievement different from most other western countries.
"Australia a rare example of an Anglophone country on a gentle trajectory," Mr Burn-Murdoch tweeted.
And cases in cumulative form:— John Burn-Murdoch (@jburnmurdoch) April 4, 2020
• US stretching my chart limits again; will extend y-axis to 500k tomorrow
• Australia a rare example of an Anglophone country on a gentle trajectory
• Brazil tracking UK ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/9kV8B09dIH
The population retreating indoors and gathering sizes being restricted has helped halve the growth rate of new infections, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday afternoon.
Just 13 days ago, he said, it was forecast that there could now have been more than 10,500 national confirmed cases - but that number is currently under 6000.
"We've been able to get the growth in the virus down a bit, but it still needs to go further," Mr Morrison said.
"That is a tribute to the work that has been done by Australians in getting around and supporting the very sensible measures that have been put in place all around the country by the state and territory governments."
The rate of daily growth has fallen to about seven per cent after being as high as 30 per cent last week but the Prime Minister implored Australians to adhere to the many and various measures.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government's initial modelling will now need to be reassessed because of the growth rate dropping "far further and far quicker" than expected, according to The Australian.
In NSW, where Australia has seen its most significant number of coronavirus infections and deaths, there are 2637 cases as of Monday morning.
Dr Jeremy McAnulty from NSW Health cautiously warned that while the numbers may indicate the number of cases in Australia were stabilising, he dismissed the idea it was evidence of the curve being flattened.
He said to confirm that, the numbers would need to be observed for a longer period and health authorities would need to be assured the community had not become lax in observing social distancing guidelines.
"We want to be hopeful but not over-read the figures ... we are hopeful that we are starting to flatten the curve but there's more work to be done," he said.
In Adelaide, the Adelaide Airport coronavirus cluster linked to Qantas baggage handlers continues to rise despite a stabilising of overall South Australian cases.
Authorities on Friday reported 11 new SA patients, bringing the state's total number of cases to 396, the lowest spike in almost a week, amid cautious optimism the infection curve is "flattening". On Sunday, South Australia recorded its "best result in three weeks" with just two new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in SA to 409.
The Herald Sun also reported Victoria's curve is flattening and "continues to slow" on Sunday. The state's total stands at 1135 confirmed cases.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed there had been some flattening of the curve, but more needed to be done.
"We have gone from doubling our numbers every three or four days to now doubling every seven days so that's an improvement," he said.
"But we don't want to be doubling every seven days ongoing. We need to keep at it and continue to flatten that curve."
Prof Sutton said the number of new cases was expected to reduce in line with the drop in international travellers, but community transmission was the concern.
Australian Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said on Saturday there was a concern around people believing "we have got through this" as it appears the nation is starting to "flatten the curve".
"What I really would caution against is thinking we have got through this completely because we definitely have not," he said.
"We really have to be hypervigilant now.
"At the moment we are tracking quite well, that flattening of the curve we have talked about for some time now appears to be happening.
"So much of the decrease in the daily cases we have seen in the last week is really to do with what we did at the border two or three weeks ago in relation to decreasing people coming into Australia."
Australia has almost 6000 infections, while the global number of infections are approaching 1.1 million.
In Italy, where harsh lockdowns have been in place for some weeks, the diagnosis of new cases is slowly starting to level off as social distancing measures appear to be taking effect.
In the country, health officials remain cautious about evidence that the curve is flattening, but evidence suggests the harsh social measures are beginning to take effect.
However the country, which continues to struggle with an overstretched health care system, is still sadly recording a climbing death toll, and authorities do not believe the country has reached its peak of cases yet.
In the US, numerous regions continue to flout health guidelines, with states including Missouri, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Arkansas and Iowa refusing to urge their citizens to stay at home.
In the worst hit region of the United States, New York, the death toll continues to rise, and the country has not yet seen a flattening of the curve.
The death toll in New York State also continues to rise at a faster rate than any other country has previously recorded.
Mr Morrison has said Australia's coronavirus pandemic measures, including social distancing, will be in place for at least six months and warned. "it could be longer".
On Friday, the PM's office confirmed social distancing is slowing the spread of the virus in Australia and the "these measures are saving lives and livelihoods".
Originally published as Australia becomes 'rare' virus example