Will Australia Have A Second Wave Of Coronavirus Now That We're Opening Stuff Up Again?
We answer that question (as best we can), and a bunch of others, just below.
What is the likelihood of a second wave of coronavirus in Australia?
We can't predict the likelihood of it, but a second wave is absolutely possible. Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said in a presser that the thought of a second wave "keeps him up at night".
A spokesperson from the Department of Health told the ABC that "any second wave, and the timing of it, will depend on how well we continue to apply the restrictions and other control measures as outlined by the Federal Government and jurisdictions".
If we don't continue to comply with social distancing measures and practice good hygiene, we're upping the chances of a second wave considerably. The fear for govt is that, when coronavirus cases do occur – which, they've conceded, they will – that they won't be able to source the origin of that case, and therefore trace everyone who's been in contact with the person who has coronavirus and let them know that they might now have it, too. The govt has pushed hard for people to download the tracing app, COVID-Safe, to help mitigate these threats. More on how the app works here.
Murphy told the ABC he didn’t expect a second wave to happen because we’re “as well prepared as we could be” to prevent it, but that it’s “the most worrying thing of all”.
"We've seen that this virus is incredibly infectious … it can spread real quickly," he said.
“A large second wave, that is the most worrying thing of all.” - Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy on what worries him the most at the moment. #abc730 @leighsales #COVID19 #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/E4oW8P9hui
— abc730 (@abc730) May 11, 2020
An expert in infectious diseases from UTS, Professor Michael Wallach was more pessimistic, telling the ABC: "I could almost say with some level of certainty, we're going to face future spikes. To me, it would be a miracle if we didn't.
"Because we did so well in locking down, a very small proportion of the population have been infected," he said.
What would a second wave of coronavirus in Australia actually look like?
If we have a widespread number of cases, where the origin of the cases isn't known and therefore unable to be traced, we could see the extreme lockdown measures from mid-March be reinforced; which would be pretty disastrous for Aussie businesses.
"If restrictions are lifted too fast and a second wave occurs, infecting more Australians, the process of re-imposing isolation would be far worse for the health of the population and for the economy than a cautious relaxation of restrictions," Australian Medical Association president, Dr Tony Bartone told the ABC.
What about winter? Will the chillier temps make it worse?
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told the ABC that health experts just don’t have enough data on the correlation between cold weather and COVID-19 transmission rates. He did say, though, that colder temps could make it harder to social distance as people pack onto public transport again and inside restaurants and cafes to stay warm.
So, how can we do our part to make sure we don’t have a second wave?
As lockdown rules are slowly eased, stopping the spread of the virus will really come down to us. We’ll have to maintain social distancing, avoid crowded spots and keep up personal hygiene. We have to be sensible and not rush back to 'normal' life; life won't be truly normal until we have a vaccine, so we have to accept that and play by the rules.
If you haven’t already, you can also download the COVIDSafe app, which will help with contract tracing when new cases do occur. If you want to know more about how it all works first, our deep dive is here.
And, finally, where are we at now with COVID-19 case numbers?
In a nutshell, we’re doing ok. We’ve had nearly 7000 total cases and sadly 98 deaths related to coronavirus. In comparison, Italy has had over a whopping 221,000 cases and, tragically, nearly 31,000 deaths.
Nearly 90% of cases in Aus have since recovered, and we currently have only 615 active cases. 14 new cases were confirmed overnight.
If your head is a little scrambled, make sure you pop over to WHO.int to get all of your official COVID-19 updates.
bored at home...? catch the entire series of celebrity ex on the beach here...
All The Celebrities Who Have Tested Positive For Coronavirus...
All The Celebrities Who Have Tested Positive For Coronavirus Positive
Getty1 of 10
Getty2 of 10
Getty3 of 10
Getty4 of 10
Getty5 of 10
Getty6 of 10
Getty7 of 10
Getty8 of 10
Getty9 of 10
Getty10 of 10