🇦🇺 LATEST: Melbourne under curfew as Sydney's contact tracing efforts have so far suppressed potential second wave | OP: Australia seems to be keeping a lid on covid-19 – how is it doing it?

"There is a desire that, blazing like a furnace, cannot be quenched until it is slaked; there is the man who lusts for his own flesh: he will not give up until the fire consumes him; to a fornicator all food is sweet, and he will not weary of it until he dies. " ~ Sirach.

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Victoria:


Queensland:

Western Australia:

South Australia:

Tasmania:

Northern Territory:

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It’s just getting worse in Victoria as the rest of Australia including the most populous state are faring well.


That uptick for New South Wales, the most recent populous state, was due to a reclassification of cruise ship passengers from March. Otherwise, they’ve pretty much flattened their curve like the rest of Australia except Victoria.

The mandatory quarantine system, in which returned travellers [non-Australians banned from entering Australia] were isolated in hotels for two weeks, was introduced on March 28.

Queensland is currently the only state to charge returned travellers for their stay and Victoria has stopped accepting flights altogether.



Australia has shown you can do everything right but a few breaches (like in Victoria state) and you lose control.
As of July 17:
Cumulative


New South Wales

Victoria

Queensland

Western Australia

South Australia

Tasmania

Australia Capital Territory

Northern Territory

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Australia)

https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-new-south-wales-records-18-new-cases-overnight-crossroads-hotel/c6a0ed4f-cb38-466c-beee-b035203d51b9

This is problematic as South Australia has practically eradicated the virus and a cluster partly behind the increase in New South Wales, the most populous state, was connected to an interstate traveller from Victoria, the second most populous state.


Whole of Australia: the peak was 460 new cases in March (missing the latest data).


Victoria, second most populous state (includes the latest data):

New South Wales, most populous state (includes the latest data):

I point out population because having a large population doesn’t automatically mean your vulnerable nor having a smaller population mean you’re automatically safe.



NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has told News Breakfast that while the state’s COVID-19 infection numbers are increasing, genomic testing seems to show the virus comes from a single source, making it easier to trace.

In neighbouring New South Wales, the most populous state:

A young child is among 19 new coronavirus cases in New South Wales, Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced on Thursday.

Hazzard says the entire state needs to be on “high alert and not complacent”.

There are now 56 cases associated with the Crossroads Hotel cluster, 46 cases related to the Thai Rock restaurant and eight linked to the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club.

“While most cases have been linked to known clusters, community transmission continues and NSW Health is calling on people across the state to redouble their efforts to stop the virus spreading,” NSW Health said.

Though New South Wales is currently stable, neighbouring Queensland state is signalling it will reimpose some border restrictions:

[New South Wales Premier] Berejiklian said any businesses found in breach of restrictions “will have the book thrown at them”.

Liquor and Gaming NSW had undertaken 1,311 compliance checks and had issued three fines — to the Golden Sheaf pub in Double Bay, The Star casino in Pyrmont and the Auburn Hotel in Western Sydney.

“I’ve got no hesitation in naming and shaming — if there is an organisation that is blatantly flouting the law and public health at risk, I will be the first to name and shame and condemn them,” Mr Dominello said.

Unlike most countries, Australian subnational jurisdictions except the two most populous states, closed their borders to each other during the pandemic. E.g. Australians from one state crossing to another with an acceptable reason for interstate travel were usually forced to quarantine at specific hotels for 2 weeks before being allowed to roam freely in another state.

“Our state, without a doubt, is one of the safest places in the world right now,” [Tasmania’s Premier] said.

“In public health’s view, so are South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.”

Tasmania won’t its borders to Victoria (a terrible second wave with hundreds of daily new cases for the last few weeks), Queensland (going weeks without any news cases but they reopened their border with New South Wales) and New South Wales (around 10 - 20 daily new cases for the last few days).

Individuals can be fined $1,000 for breaking COVID 19 restrictions, which may escalate to being arrested and possibly jailed after multiple breaches.

NSW Police Minister David Elliott also put out a warning for businesses to take the coronavirus rules seriously.

“There are no three strikes when it comes to a pandemic.” Mr Elliot said, adding that hospitality venues would receive a $5000 fine “immediately” if they breached public health laws.

“If they do the wrong thing again they will be closed for one week, and if they do the wrong thing a third time they could be closed for up to a month,” Mr Elliott said.

NSW recorded 15 new cases of COVID 19 overnight, including eight connected to the Thai Rock restaurant cluster.

New South Wales is struggling with a few serious clusters and seems to be suppressing new ones and containing the existing ones. So according to some protesters it’s a great time to become like Victoria and end up with some of the strictest restrictions in the world.

A group of Indigenous doctors last week called for Tuesday’s protest to be abandoned, fearing the health consequences of a gathering during the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak is too risky.

Of the ten new deaths, seven were reported in males aged between 40 and 89 and three women in their 70s and 80s.

The national death toll is now at 155, with 71 of those occurring in Victoria.

Black Lives Matter Australia want New South Wales (light blue curve) to end up like Victoria (dark blue curve).


Or even worse like America.


I agree that the BLM protesters in Australia are being irresponsible to the Public Health Issue, however I also agree that if they follow the protocols already in place for the economy, then we have no reason to stop them.

There is a very good reason to stop them. They haven’t followed, aren’t following and won’t follow the protocols. Others have to take down personal information. The organizers won’t or can’t.
They said they would physically distance. They didn’t last time. Many people weren’t wearing masks when they promised they would.

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/public-health-orders.aspx#gathering

The organiser of a Black Lives Matter protest has been dragged into a police car at an illegal rally in Sydney.

Paddy Gibson was arrested at the Domain, in the city’s CBD, by NSW Police along with a number of other protesters.

https://www.9news.com.au/national/sydney-black-lives-matter-rally-shut-down-by-nsw-police-organiser/10499939-a4e8-4435-9a13-a2838c18c53c

“Don’t assume you have the cold or the flu, assume it’s the virus and act accordingly.”

“We have to have that attitude otherwise things will get out of control.”

“Our state does remain on high alert, but we are doing OK, we’re holding the line,” Berejiklian added.

Queensland


Victoria

New South Wales (all Sydney area)

(https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/1288278065718599680)
NSW is on alert even though that’s very low for a state with 8 million people compared to other places in the world. With 10 - 20 new daily cases for the last few weeks, this is how serious Australia is taking it:

Victoria Pop: 6,651,074
Previous record highs: 515 new cases in 24 hours (July 27), 10 deaths in 24 hours (July 26)


10 of those 13 deaths could be connected to aged care settings

https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-masks-to-be-made-mandatory-across-regional-areas/55fb98a4-28c8-4518-a3d1-d06481c5723f

From midnight this Sunday all Victorians will be required to wear a face mask when outside their home, regardless of where they live.

Face masks have been mandatory in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire for a week.

Additionally, from 11.59pm today, residents in a number of local government areas will be banned from visiting people or having guests at home.


New South Wales Pop: 8,128,984
Almost all recent cases in Sydney) (note the 189 new cases that stands out in the graph was a reclassification of cruise ship passengers)



(https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/1288640457212227584)


Queensland Pop: 5,129,996

https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-queensland-three-new-covid19-cases-two-linked-to-sydney-apollo-restaurant/24d126db-245c-418c-b8ae-4dc07e8b8abd

“First, a man in his 20s who had returned from the United States and was in quarantine, and a couple who had eaten at the Apollo restaurant in Potts Point in Sydney which is a known cluster and identified cluster.”

The couple who returned from Sydney self-isolated as soon as they arrived back in Queensland.

They are all isolated and pose no risk to the community, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

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Prior to outbreaks in Melbourne, Australia went without any coronavirus death for about a month.

Aged care facilities and cruise ships have been ground zero for the deadliest outbreaks.

The Newmarch House cluster in NSW has so far resulted in 17 deaths, the Dorothy Henderson Lodge aged care facility, also in NSW, is linked to six deaths.

Thirteen deaths have been recorded at other aged care facilities around the country.

Meanwhile, the Ruby Princess cluster remains the deadliest outbreak in the country with 20 deaths linked to the cruise ship.

Nine additional deaths have been linked to other cruise ships.

New South Wales is still on the edge of a second wave like Victoria.


(https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/1289365411838869504)
Victoria

(https://twitter.com/VicGovDHHS/status/1289449503041282048)

Victoria

Five million Melburnians have spent their first night under a citywide, coronavirus-enforced curfew that will last the next six weeks.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced a suite of tough new COVID-19 regulations designed to limit movement in Melbourne, while foreshadowing more to come for workplaces.


New South Wales


(https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/1290090054103121920)
Why NSW has so far avoided Victoria’s crisis and the failures seen in the US:
https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-new-south-wales-is-second-wave-coming-to-nsw-sydney/54fee725-84a1-4496-9f02-698588659f85

It feels a long time since Sydney was the epicentre of Australia’s coronavirus pandemic.

John Kaldor, professor of epidemiology at the Kirby Institute at the University of NSW, said NSW has “a very substantial and effective” contact tracing team in place, which is helping stem the pandemic.

“They are detecting a steady amount of cases but so far the vast majority of those cases are linked to known outbreaks and they are picking them up in pretty good time,” Prof. Kaldor said.

“The number of mystery cases is still very small.”

He said daily case numbers need to be unpacked, as it was the mystery transmission cases which cannot be linked to known cases which represented the greatest risk.

Even a freshly reported linked case could be someone already in quarantine, he said, meaning that person has not been out in public potentially infecting others.

Currently, around 10 per cent of NSW daily reported cases are people infected from an unknown source.

Yet despite this low number, Prof. Kaldor said the situation in NSW remains “a concern” because the virus is so infectious.

If you have too many cases that can’t be traced, you end up like Victoria and the US.


Queensland
With proper leadership you can get the numbers down to zero community transmission:

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