Coronavirus could “die out” in Australia entirely if New South Wales and Victoria stay on their current trajectory of low infections, according to two leading epidemiologists.
The two states are responsible for 90 per cent of the country’s COVID-19 cases and 96 per cent of deaths.
But as new infections flatline in Victoria after a months-long lockdown, and cases dwindle in NSW amid rampant contact tracing, some experts have now admitted COVID-19 could be eliminated in Australia, despite the fact it has never been the national strategy.
Yesterday Victoria recorded its seventh straight day of no new cases and NSW has recorded nine cases since Monday.
Hassan Vally, an epidemiologist from La Trobe University, said new infections should continue to be contained.
“NSW is the model, we have a low number of cases, the public health response stamps on any clusters and you keep everything under control,” he said.
“No-one knows what will happen over the next week in Victoria, but it’s not outside the bounds of possibility that we will see zero cases for another week or so and then technically we’ve eliminated the virus.”
Suppression, rather than elimination, was the goal of Victoria’s stage-four lockdown, while NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has long maintained residents must learn to live with COVID-19 until a vaccine is found.
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