Is Australia flattening the coronavirus curve? Your questions on testing and community transmission answered | World news

An evaluation of the newest authorities information on coronavirus exhibits regionally acquired infections have outnumbered infections acquired abroad for the previous 4 days.

The evaluation additionally exhibits the development in regionally acquired circumstances is slowing in New South Wales and Victoria, the two states for which detailed information is out there.

As a part of our common replace on Australia’s progress in flattening the curve, we’re having a look at some widespread questions from readers.

The well being minister, Greg Hunt, mentioned yesterday Australia has made “real progress” on decreasing the fee of an infection, telling 3AW: “We’ve come down from over 25%, nearly 30% a few weeks ago, on a daily basis to the lower teens, to then below 10% and now below 5%.”

percent change chart

Despite this progress, one in all the most incessantly requested questions is whether or not native transmission is growing. The state of affairs has been unclear as a result of it’s been exhausting to entry up-to-date info.

Only two states have revealed information which exhibits the transmission supply for all circumstances over time. Guardian Australia compiled per week’s value of knowledge from each day media releases from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

These media releases have figures for each state and territory, and present that new circumstances with an area origin have been greater than new circumstances with an abroad origin since 4 March. It’s vital to additionally observe that a lot of circumstances are underneath investigation at any time limit, and so these figures can change retrospectively with additional updates.


An extended-term view of comparable figures from NSW and Victoria exhibits the similar latest swap, but in addition exhibits that the variety of new regionally acquired circumstances is declining.

cases by source for NSW and VIC

Professor Peter Collignon, an infectious ailments professional at Australian National University, mentioned the information from NSW indicated if there was transmission in the community, it’s at a low stage.

He mentioned as compared with South Korea, Japan and Singapore, Australia had stored native transmissions decrease.

“We closed our bars and pubs and museums when other countries didn’t,” he mentioned.

“We’ve done better than flatten the curve – we have reversed it, but I don’t think it will get to zero. We have to assume there are low levels of the virus, and that there will be low levels for a while to come.”

The different two most incessantly requested questions from readers had been about coronavirus testing:

  • Is the downward pattern in each day new circumstances a results of a bias in our testing standards in direction of travel-related circumstances?

  • Is the downward pattern in each day new circumstances a results of a drop in testing, or testing being at capability?

Testing figures compiled by and Guardian Australia point out that the variety of new checks reported per day has not too long ago decreased in some states, such as NSW, however seems to be comparatively regular, or growing, in others.

Testing standards has not too long ago been widened in some states and territories.

Prof Allen Cheng, an epidemiologist at Monash University, mentioned testing standards amongst healthcare staff and hospitalised sufferers had been widened, and this could assist clear the image about the relationship with testing and native transmissions.

“There is now reasonable test capacity, but there has been a drop in people presenting for testing, at least at our clinic,” he mentioned. “This is probably partly due to fewer cases (a lot of the drop has been attributed to lower numbers of returned travellers), but whether there may be other factors involved is not completely clear.”

Collignon mentioned there was a bias in direction of testing folks linked with abroad journey. But he mentioned this additionally confirmed that “we have that epidemic [related to travel] under control”.

He mentioned if this bias was inflicting circumstances of native transmission to be missed, it could present up in different information and in admissions to hospital – nevertheless it at present wasn’t.

“If you look at data from NSW right now, they do plot the local transmissions and they are going down as well. If we had missed a lot, we would be seeing an exponential growth in locally acquired cases but those are either flat or falling.”


For the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet information, complete native circumstances are the sum of three classes: “Locally acquired – known”, “Locally acquired – unknown”, and “Locally acquired – interstate travel”. The collated information is out there here, however the authentic PDFs should not out there on-line. Only media releases again to 28 March had been out there.

Figures for NSW and Victoria are compiled from each day media releases, and the mixed native circumstances quantity is the sum of two classes – native contact with a recognized case or cluster, and acquired in Australia from an unknown supply.

Australia’s official reports to the World Health Organization do include breakdowns of the place of acquisition for many circumstances, however there’s a vital lag time to reporting.

Please e-mail [email protected] or [email protected] with strategies or errors.

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