All the pain the Victorians endured may be paying off, as indications are that the country is on a positive path. Although new infections are increasing today compared to yesterday, the average new cases for seven days have now decreased every day for a week.
Just as Melbourne climbs a rollercoaster of everyday situations en route, we shouldn’t be surprised if the track is bumpy as well.
The State continues to expand in the fight against the virus as long as the trend line continues to decline in Victoria.
Prime Minister Andrews said this morning: “With increased compliance and measures in place, our experts remain steadfast in their view that this will reduce the numbers.”
It’s in our hands to some degree what decisions are we taking as soon as it happens.
Three trends explain the troubled times ahead
The current trend does not tell us much about the challenges still ahead. It may be easier to get 400 to 40 cases than lowering case totals from 40 to zero. If this strategy continues to work, the Victorian government will at some point need to decide when to lift the toughest restrictions.
Do you keep it in place for as long as it takes confidence not to transmit the infection in the community, or do you start to lift it when the infections are less and hope that the lighter restrictions will finish the job?
“This is really an ability test,” said Andrews.
People are frustrated, and it is clear that people want to come back to find that COVID is normal. This is not now. There is still some time.
Deaths will keep going up
While cases are now declining, we are still seeing COVID-19 deaths reported in higher and higher numbers. There is a close relationship between the number of people who die or are hospitalized and the cases from about a week prior. This could mean that we are about to see some good news on this front as well. But a shift in reported deaths could be delayed due to the fact that infections among the vulnerable groups remain stubbornly high.
Nursing homes remain a major concern
With most deaths related to the elderly care outbreak, we first need to start seeing the numbers of infections in nursing homes drop. There are currently more than 1,000 residents of nursing homes with active coronavirus infection. Currently, new infections have stabilized by more than 60 per day. Plateau numbers are good, but they should start dropping before we see a huge improvement in mortality each day.