New COVID data a ‘dog’s breakfast’ as cases decline

New data today is expected to show a continuing drop in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country, but there are questions about its accuracy.

Sep 23, 2022, updated Sep 23, 2022
Photo: Joel Carrett/AAP

Photo: Joel Carrett/AAP

The federal health department will release its weekly COVID-19 case notifications report alongside state data.

Last week’s report showed the national average number of cases dropped by 20.2 per cent compared with the previous week.

But the average drop across the states and territories ranged from 0.3 per cent in South Australia to 35.9 per cent in the Northern Territory.

The number of hospitalisations last week fell by an average 12.8 per cent compared with the previous week.

The change from daily to weekly data releases has been widely criticised within the health sector.

State figures released last Friday differed starkly to the federal data because of different start and end dates for counting.

Epidemiologist Adrian Esterman said he agreed with colleagues who described the new format for the data dump as “useless”.

Another scientist described it as a “dog’s breakfast”.

But public health experts are increasingly optimistic the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight.

InDaily in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The World Health Organisation has advised the pandemic could soon be over, with the weekly number of global deaths continuing to decline.

Epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely said it felt like the end.

“We are in a much better position now. We have a lot of immunity from vaccines and natural infection,” he said.

“If we don’t see anything much different from Omicron come along in the next six months or so, I think we are looking pretty good.”

Meanwhile, Oxfam says two-thirds of countries are yet to meet their target of vaccinating 70 per cent of people against COVID-19.

The target was set at last year’s United Nations General Assembly.

The organisation said the death toll from COVID-19 is four times higher in lower-income countries, where 48 per cent of the population have had their initial round of vaccinations.

At the current rate, it will take almost two and a half years for 70 per cent of people in the poorest countries to be fully vaccinated.

In Australia, 72 per cent of people have had their third dose of vaccine, while 40.5 per cent have had a fourth dose.


Local News Matters
Copyright © 2024 InDaily.
All rights reserved.