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Victorian lockdown worked: it stopped community transmission of Covid

Science before politics

Some are claiming the Victorian lockdown was too late, saying the rate of spread was already suppressed before it started. But that misses the point that slowing flight arrivals was responsible for most of the suppression up to that point, but that wasn’t going to stop the rising cases of community transmission. To judge if lockdown works, we need to look at domestic spread.

The graph that matters are the new daily cases, and even more so, the graph of daily new cases due to of community transmission (below).

Victoria started a major lockdown on March 24th when schools were largely closed (except to essential workers) and only essential services were allowed to run. We see daily new cases peaked 11 3 days lateralmost exactly as expected (We expect a 12 day delay as seen in Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea and Norway). The 12 day average expected lag comes from a five day average incubation and then a roughly seven day lag for new cases to get into breathing trouble and get tested as such. In Victoria, the case numbers were  dominated by incoming arrivals, so the timing of border closures determined the daily new cases peak.

*POST CORRECTION!: Ignore this graph which was shown here which didn’t show the peak at all (it has the wrong date scale). It was irrelevant. Instead look at the community transmission graph below.  h/t to Chris who emailed.

Most of the early spread was from foreign arrivals

Lockdown is aimed to slow community spread, not to stop the importation of cases from interstate. International flight arrivals had been asked to self-quarantine from mid March, but from March 29th it became mandatory and enforced. So people flying in before this date would have potentially been able to spread infections, and the lockdown would have slowed that. (For readers overseas, lockdowns here were never as strict as Spain or Italy).

The rate of community transmission spread slowed decisively off the exponential curve on April 11th  — 18 days later. Was that delayed because people with infections went home and shared the virus with people they lived with for one more week? If they had been put in hospital or isolated, would that growth have stopped after 12 days and not 18? I don’t know. Only detailed contact tracing would give us the answer.

Nonetheless, it’s clearly not true that lockdown was instigated too late to help.

 

Coronavirus, Lockdown, Covid19, Graph, Victoria, Community transmission.

Community transmission of Coronavirus in Victoria Australia  |   Source: Covid19data

It’s worth knowing that quarantine measures were ramping up throughout March

The Citymobility graph shows that Australians gradually slid into a full lockdown from March 11th – March 25th. Presumably the early Re of 11 days (mentioned below) was slower than other nations partly because of there were already measures in place, and partly due to the hot dry weather, and high Vit D levels at the end of summer.

Mobility in Australia, Lockdown. Sydney Melbourne.

Australians gradually slowed down from March 11 to March 25th.  |  NewDaily

The new Seeman et al study looks at the changes in the viral genome and considered cases up to April 14th, so it doesn’t include cases potentially spreading in early April that were not diagnosed til after April 15. It helps to trace some unknown contacts and clusters.

The paper’s authors say the social restrictions reduced the spread around three days after the Stage 3 restrictions came into action:

 The birth-death skyline model suggested a considerable change in Re around 27th March (CI: 23rd – 31st March). Prior to 27th March, the estimated Re was 1.63 (CI: 1.45 – 1.8) with a subsequent decrease to 0.48 (CI: 0.27 – 0.69) after this time (Figure 4). Our estimated Re prior to the 27th March implied an epidemic doubling time of 11 days (CI: 8.3 – 14.4 days) The sampling proportion parameter (the probability of successfully sequencing an infected case) after the identification of the first case in Victoria was estimated at 0.88

Looking at the genetic diversity of the virus suggests the rate of spread decreased after Stage 3 was introduced.

Third, prior to the implementation of enhanced (stage 3) restrictions in Victoria, we identified a large genomic cluster (the largest in our dataset, comprising 75 cases) associated with several social venues in metropolitan Melbourne. This finding demonstrates the propensity for chains of SARS-CoV-2 transmission throughout urban areas associated with leisure activities and provides additional justification for the unprecedented population-level social restrictions in our setting. Further genomic support for the effectiveness of social restrictions is provided by our phylodynamic analysis, which demonstrates a decrease in Re, after the introduction of stage 3 restrictions (including mandatory quarantine in hotels for overseas returnees), from 1.63 to 0.48.

Lockdowns work, but that doesn’t mean all types lockdowns are worth it

The debate needs to move on. Lockdowns slow the spread of airborne disease. This is not to say that everything about lockdowns is necessary or effective or that all measures should continue. There was hypocrisy, inconsistency, and contradiction writ large. The aim is always to minimize. We now know that golf and outdoor activities like beaches are a low risk activity. We now know that children are not major spreaders like they are in nearly every other respiratory disease. We didn’t know that then.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but only the psychic, not the scientific, knew the answers in March.

The evidence that lockdowns slow transmission of disease is now overwhelming. In nearly every country, the effect of increased lockdown became evident in the daily new cases curve about 12 days after it was started. The rate of influenza and other respiratory disease has ALSO been reduced by an extraordinary 85% across 17 different countries. But countries with half-baked lockdowns, or lockdowns sabotaged by open borders, haven’t controlled the virus and are suffering longer outbreaks with more deaths and longer disruption — that’s Sweden, UK, US, Canada, and Brazil.

The question that matters is: which parts of lockdown are worth it?

In Victoria 60% of cases came from overseas, so quarantining flight arrivals made the biggest difference to the rate of growth. But contact with a confirmed case, and unknown (community spread) cases were starting to grow exponentially too, and were only a few weeks behind.

Because the flights were not quarantined til too late, the expensive Stage 2 restrictions were needed, and possibly the Stage 3 as well. The graph below is unusual — it’s marked from “first day of symptoms,” not from detection. There is an average of five days of asymptomatic incubation. So cases in this graph were seeded, on average, five days earlier. What matters is the drop in infections five days or so after new restrictions are brought in. There is a drop visible five days after Stage two was introduced, and another drop again five days after Stage 3 came in, but the numbers are statistically small. (Bad for maths, but good for Victoria).

Stage 1 included early school holidays — effectively a school closure, so it was quite a high level of restriction.

 From Seemann et al: The graph of “first day of symptoms”

Victoria, graph, covid infections, lockdown stages.

Epidemic curve of COVID-19 cases, by putative mode of acquisition, and implementation of key public health interventions, Victoria, Australia, 06 January – 14 April 2020. Cases were categorized as (i) travel overseas if reporting travel in the 14 days prior to symptom onset or (ii) contact with a confirmed case if no overseas travel reported and case contact occurred within the same time period. Cases are plotted by reported date of symptom onset, or if unknown, date of initial specimen collection.

Without the Stage 2 restrictions would community spread have continued at the rate of the orange arrow (like Sweden)? Or would they have continued to decline from the peak and reached zero but weeks later than they are currently headed for?

Definitions from the paper:

  • State of emergency declaration introduced a ban on large gatherings and mandatory social distancing of 4m2 per person.
  • Stage 1 restrictions introduced a shutdown of non-essential services, followed shortly after by early commencement of school holidays.
  • Stage 2 restrictions expanded shut down of non-essential services, and
  • Stage 3 introduced an enforceable stay-at-home order and limited non-household groups to 2 people.

If the government didn’t bring in Stage 3, would the 3 -5 cases of community spread keep running, dragging on the Stage 2 lockdown for month after month, causing sporadic cluster outbreaks like the Cedar Meatworks outbreak where nearly 100 people were infected?

If Stage 2 restrictions reduced the rate of spread below 1.0 the virus would still track to zero, but it’s a slower decay. If Stage 3 reduced the Re (or Ro)  further, it makes the whole lockdown shorter.

There’s a cost both ways. Would it be cheaper to have avoided the Stage 3 restrictions, but paid the price with low level constant running outbreaks, with schools and factories being closed periodically, and with 20% of the population self-restricting, avoiding pubs, clubs and restaurants for months? Not to mention the burden on health workers living under constant PPE stressful conditions, some separated from their families, and facing a significant morbidity rate on an ongoing basis?

With the rest of the nation clearing out the virus, would it mean that other states would keep the borders shut and fly right over Victoria on the way to New Zealand? The high cost of Stage 3 may end up looking like a bargain if Australia does indeed clear the virus and free itself from all lockdowns (apart from quarantining international visitors, of course). Or perhaps with hindsight we could have avoided Stage 3, but we ran the risk (still unknown) of missing the chance to eliminate the virus before mid-winter.

And of course, if Vitamin D, Zinc and HCQ or Ivermectin improve the survival odds and the burden of disease, then the lockdown bought us the time to put our armor on.

The exponential growth meant more deaths for every day delayed, but decisions had to be made in the fog of unknown unknowns: How severe would the virus be; would there long term damage; were many cases asymptomatic; would immunity be lasting; how long would it take; how long would businesses survive; how fast will customers return; how much would customers change their spending even without mandatory quarantine; how soon would we find a treatment; does winter matter; do children spread it; how much is transmitted by air or surface or fecal, or via carriers with no symptoms?

The only thing we know for sure is that quarantining of international visitors should have started in mid February. As was suggested here at the time. If that had been done, none of these domestic restrictions would have been necessary. Not one.

 

Things worth knowing about Coronavirus:

 

REFERENCES:

Seemann et al (2020) Tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia using genomics, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.12.20099929

Abbbreviations: for some reason the reproductive number is Re in this paper not Ro.

Deleted Graph Source: Covid19data

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Rating: 6.2/10 (51 votes cast)
Victorian lockdown worked: it stopped community transmission of Covid, 6.2 out of 10 based on 51 ratings

126 comments to Victorian lockdown worked: it stopped community transmission of Covid

  • #
    Peter C

    I have been looking at the daily new cases Australia wide and in Victoria.

    There is a steady small number of new cases. The question is why? Public release of information is limited unfortunately. My take is that there are still people coming into Australia and into Victoria from overseas. They are going into compulsory 14 days quarantine. Most of the new cases are found in that group and some of their contacts.

    100

    • #

      An excellent question. And in the case of South Korea, cases continued on for a long time and I believe were, as you suggest, imported cases. Similarly in China where borders were closed to Russia when too many cases were detected crossing the border.

      Thank goodness we finally got the quarantine right. Any single case coming in could be the one that leads to a Cedar Meats outbreak or a 5000 person lockdown in Burnie.

      109

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        But here in South Australia we blundered badly.
        We were till last Sunday on a 19 day roll of zero infections.
        I repeat : Nineteen days with Zero infections

        The SA Health allowed a 50 year person to fly into Adelaide from Melbourne.
        She had flown from the UK a week previously to see a dying family member in Adelaide.
        (Yes the UK where 30,000 people have died from Covid 19 in recent weeks ! )
        This person spent a week in Melbourne in quarantine.
        Then asked and got permission from SA Health to fly to Adelaide
        And was tested at the airport.
        The test cam back positive.

        And now there are 19 individuals she had contact with who are in self isolation
        Waiting to see if they are also infected.

        SA Health’s job is to protect South Australians.
        It is NOT to take risks with our lives as it did in this case.

        Quarantine works !

        1213

      • #
        ianl

        Until you deal with the Taiwan example properly (no flickpass), you are being dishonest. Real scientific method does not ignore contrary evidence.

        https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2020/05/run-the-numbers-survey-the-folly/

        NOTE: Taiwan did not lockdown and destroy their economy. Their death rate/10 million is 1/13th that of Aus, although they have almost the same population crammed into a very much smaller space. You have helped make a real mess.

        112

        • #
          Brenda Spence

          Taiwan jumped onto it very early.
          Google the 124 steps Taiwan took to control the virus.
          They had previous experience with viruses from China.

          100

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Ian, Taiwan was temp. checking passengers of all flights from China
          From the start of January.
          It banned all flights from China at the end of January

          That was great effective quarantine. by Taiwan.
          And with their tracing & locating system
          They did not need to do a country wide lock down.

          https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-30/taiwans-coronavirus-strategy-healthcare-and-location-data/12296948

          56

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            The statement,

            “They did not need to do a country wide lock down.”

            Most of us agree there.

            There are alternatives to thoughtless “lockdown”.

            KK

            20

            • #
              Analitik

              Only if you act early and decisively – not a good description for most (all?) Western, democratic governments

              30

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                True, in one of the previous posts I’ve mentioned a short one week lockdown to get organised and then close border scrutiny and immediate isolation of outbreaks along with quarantining, which is again, immediate isolation.
                It goes without saying that special attention to the elderly and nursing homes would be needed.

                Governments, for Australia, has been a big contributor with the border farce episodes of Ruby Princess, NSW, and Sheep Queen in WA.

                If shipping companies are so dodgy as to send contaminated crewmembers on their boats why should Australia allow them in to “offload”.

                KK

                10

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                True, in one of the previous posts I’ve mentioned a short one week lockdown to get organised and then close border scrutiny and immediate isolation of outbreaks along with quarantining, which is again, immediate isolation.
                It goes without saying that special attention to the elderly and nursing homes would be needed.

                Governments, for Australia, has been a big contributor with the border farce episodes of Ruby Princess, NSW, and Sheep Queen in WA.

                If shipping companies are so dodgy as to send contaminated crewmembers on their boats why should Australia allow them in to “offload”.

                KK

                00

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              But there were quite stringent local ‘lockdowns’.
              In parts of Taipei and especially in city high rises
              Where infections showed up.
              This could happen only because the Taiwanese Government acted swiftly in January.

              10

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          PS : The quadrant’s ideologically fundamentalist approach to this infectious disease pandemic
          Has lost me completely.
          I used to buy Quadrant at the local news agency.
          Now I don’t.
          That once great journal puts economics & rights before health

          213

          • #
            Brenda Spence

            Agree totally. They have one perspective and no other. Brilliant hindsight (sarc).

            40

        • #

          Ianl
          Until you deal with the Vietnam example properly (no flickpass), you are being dishonest. Real scientific method does not ignore contrary evidence.

          https://asiafoundation.org/2020/05/27/vietnam-a-covid-19-success-story/

          NOTE: Vietnam did lock down but did it well. So it worked quickly and did not destroy the economy the way that Brazil and Sweden are doing. Their death rate/10 million is zero. Infinitely better than anyplace with a death, although they have four times the population of Australia crammed into 1/23rd the space.
          You seek to help make a real mess by opposing methods that work.

          21

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            Silligy.

            Yes, Vietnam closed down and did well there, but as usual there are other factors.

            Check my analysis of Vietnam’s population profile.

            Also, unlike the West, they don’t have millions of people in nursing homes whose “lives” have been extended an extra few months so that they can be victims of the dreaded CV19.

            Apart from the quick action they took, the contrast in age profile with New York and Germany is significant.

            Things are Not always what they seem: a resident of Hokkaido is reported to have observed that there was no actual “lockdown” initially when the official position was that there had been.

            Lots of factors; and the inner biological workings of this pandemic virus mustn’t distract from the important gross factors that need to be understood and dealt with first.

            KK

            10

            • #

              Age profile might cause a reflection of that percentage but zero is not a reflection of a percentage. That theory is stretching reality beyond broken.
              “the important gross factors that need to be understood and dealt with first.”
              The most important is history. The main wave of the 1918 Spanish flu in the northern hemisphere, the second wave, started at a time dictated by the annual climate cycle. When the temperatures fell, when the virus killing UV light was reduced. When the warm and sunny part of the day got shorter than the dark cold night, when the diet went through its annual change, when the winter sports began etc etc. The single most important thing to do before the main wave time arrives in the northern hemisphere, as can be seen from history is stop the spread.
              When the main wave arrived the age profile of victims changed. The age profile also seems to have changed like this in other pandemics. If that happens where the disease is wide spread any such population are sitting ducks with disease all around in time for the natural effects on the growth rate “r” to shoot up and suddenly wipe a new age group out as the “herd immunity” ratios rapidly change due to altered equilibrium.

              10

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              Keith we’ve been over this before. Have you forgotten ? Or chosen because of personnal animosity, to ignore it ?

              Whatever..Please remember that there is within the Vietnamese psyche a virulent hatred of things Chinese.It is the natural product of being occupied by China for hundreds of years and repeated attempts by various Chinese regimes to conquer China over 2000 years. The most recent was in 1979.
              As a result there are regular popular riotous outbreaks against Chinese owned factories, businesses and individuals.
              When the virus started to appear in Vietnam the Communist government harnessed that hatred to ensure the success of it”s strategy against the Wuhan virus. Iy became a patriotic duty to wear a mask, wash hands regularly, attempt social distancing etc. and obey the local lock downs that the government implemented. Vietnam also instituted flight bans and quarantine on all incoming travellers.
              And all those measures were taken early. in this respect Vietnam provides an excellent example of how to beat the virus, like Taiwan

              21

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            Also, thanks for the link. Very useful.

            30

            • #

              Here is another couple of links for you KK. How about using some of that analysis skill to look at why there were big gaps between the pre wave and the two following larger killer waves as per the chart on the right side.
              https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/three-waves.htm

              “…shifts of the highest death rates to younger populations, multiple waves, higher transmissibility than seasonal influenza, and varying impacts in different geographic regions [16]. These factors, especially information on virus evolution and disease severity during the continuous pandemic waves, were all crucial for evaluating the impact of the disease and for consideration of influenza response plans.”
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3227656/

              20

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Too much to read on a Sunday morning.

                Look at the big picture.

                Have you considered the great similarity between Australia and Vietnam?

                Don’t focus so much on the little virii trying to hitch a ride on some big animal; look at the cage they’re in.

                11

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                No?

                Physically they have a long but narrow coastal strip where most people live. Generally hot.

                Maybe the salty sea breeze neutralises the virii, who knows.

                Both countries have low death rates, but the point is you must quantify these larger effects before going too far into the analysis otherwise you could end up going around in circles and picking an incorrect factor at work.

                KK

                20

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                Winter in Northern Vietnam is cold, & damp.
                Go stay in Hanoi in December Keith.
                Ideal for the virus to spread.
                The more tropical weather kicks in South of Nghe Anh province..

                41

    • #
      Broadie

      Or, this was the only group tested due to contact tracing. What other groups were tested for comparison?

      How many tests were completed each day in Victoria and what was the criteria for those test? Was the sampling consistent? Was the testing method the same?

      These is Professor Peter Ridd science! A tad annoying to a consensus, Wot!

      I have been looking at the daily new cases Australia wide and in Victoria.

      There is a steady small number of new cases

      These are small numbers when the number of potential infections through travel through and from ‘infected areas’ in those periods was large.

      51

      • #
        Broadie

        From the Data source of the graphic leading this post for positives in Victoria. Notice the big jump in tests done at the beginning of May. May be why there was a jump in the number of positives though a fall by percentage of those tested.

        https://www.covid19data.com.au/testing

        Victoria is the blue.

        01

        • #
          Bulldust

          A recent video from MedCram gave a good run through of test statistics regarding false positives and false negatives etc:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSRK41UbTEU

          I remember everyone calling to test, test, test, and test some more a couple months ago. Now, thinking about it more deeply, I can see why pre-testing conditions were enforced. Had the test system tossed up a lot of false negatives because of extensive testing, there would have been a lot of panic.

          The problem with extensive testing and low virus prevalence (ie number of people infected) is that a large proportion of the “positive” test results can be false positives. When the virus prevalence is higher, the false positives are overwhelmed by true positives, and it is less of a statistical issue. A much bigger health issue, of course.

          These situations are statistically messy by nature.

          30

          • #
            Bulldust

            Incidentally this is one of the things that worries me about the more extensive testing being suggested in WA for non-symptomatic people. If we toss up a whole lot of community-based positives, if they are largely false positives, then we may end up kicking the economy back into quarantine for no reason.

            It is a problem unless someone can devise a very precise test.

            40

    • #
      yarpos

      Cases and their source are published every day on covid daily update provided on the VIC health website. They tend to be quarantine people and infections of cohabitants of people from previous batches like Cedar Meats. Its a litlle more tricky with 5 million people than 1 million.

      60

  • #
    Kevin a

    Sweden stayed open during the coronavirus pandemic: Is it a model for the future?
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/sweden-stayed-open-coronavirus-pandemic-model-future/story?id=70666450

    “In the autumn, there will be a second wave. Sweden will have a high level of immunity and the number of cases will probably be quite low,” Tegnell told The Financial Times earlier this month. “But [neighboring] Finland will have a very low level of immunity. Will Finland have to go into a complete lockdown again?”

    Very interesting video. the malaria drug Chloroquine has been banned in some places in the USA?
    https://www.altcensored.com/watch?v=CQrA2qXs2Gg

    42

    • #
      yarpos

      Jo calls put Sweden as a negative case, but when you look at excess deaths they sit better than a few of the lockdown countries and only slightly over Switzerland. They get beaten up because they didnt follow the conventional wisdom.

      81

      • #
        GlenM

        Quarantining works; lockdowns don’t. Looking at Sweden’s case it appears to have done better than many of its neighbors. Then again, that has been said many times by others here.

        52

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        They are treated as pariah’s because they don’t control an infectious new disease.
        Evcen Tegnel;’ predecessor in the job thinks he has stuffed up completely.

        25

      • #

        Sweden did a slow bleed half lockdown. So did the UK and the US. All of them are suffering damage to both the health of their citizens who are needlessly dying and risking long term damage, and to their economies which face longer disruption, fear, changed behaviour, expenses, and loss of normal hospital function. Even though their borders are open, their citizens are being blocked as high risk travellers all over the world.

        That’s what failure is.

        86

        • #
          yarpos

          We however are just so wonderfully place for travel by comparison, and to receive tourists as well. Declaring one a success and one a failure seems to be pretty subjective.

          00

          • #

            Yarpos. Sweden is trapped into a corner where it has shot itself in both feet.

            “Greece invites Australia and NZ to join travel bubble” “The 29 countries are:”
            https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/greece-invites-australia-and-nz-to-join-travel-bubble-20200530-p54xxd.html

            11

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              The 29 countries in the Greek are: “Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland.”

              Ummmmm ? I’m not sure about some countries on that list Sliggy. China for obvious reasons.
              Germany is also doubtful for other reasons.
              And there are a bunch of Balkan countries ( Albania, North Mecedonia, Montenegro, Serbia Bulgaria, Rumania ) where the statistics are not very accurate I suspect.

              I suggest any Australians going to Greece for a holiday would still have to do 14 days quarantine when they got back here.

              41

              • #

                I suggest any Australians going to Greece for a holiday would still have to do 14 days quarantine when they got back here.

                Agreed Bill but it does give us a look at the type future Australia will be included in but Sweden will not be a welcome part of in a hurry.

                21

        • #
          Tim

          And Australians are being blocked from leaving to travel all over the world that’s what success is.

          What’s the difference Jo?

          20

  • #
    TdeF

    As a Victorian, it is the first time I have to admit that Premier Daniel Andrews hard line is the right line.

    It is however disheartening that the biggest outbreaks of infection are all connected to government officials ducking their responsibilities, likely from the top.

    Firstly the Ruby Princess in Sydney harbour when the world had been watching the Diamond Princess crisis in Yokahama harbour for a month. So someone ducked the problem and sent everyone home. Who?

    Then the Cedar Meats abattoir worker in Melbourne who was ignored and this allowed the virus to spread and the abattoir actually doubled production. Even when picked by accident three weeks later, the State government once again hid the company name, denying both workers and contacts the ability to self identify and be tested. That needs explanation in the Labor stronghold of Western Melbourne with the owner a major Labor party donor.

    And now the docking of a merchant ship in Fremantle, allegedly because no one knew about the sick people aboard when that was not true, it was predictable. The virus has to be presumed.

    On the other hand, the people of Australia have been fantastic. We as a country do not believe anyone should die so others can party, play golf or go surfing or to the pub for drinks. And our parents and grandparents should not live in fear for their lives as a result. With the wisdom of hindsight countries who now boast of only 100 deaths a day, down from 1000 deaths a day would look enviously at a country where that is the total for the entire period.

    One worrying and predictable aspect is the expected mutation to a more deadly virus, as seems to be happening in Brazil. We must keep our doors shut as the world learned from every previous pandemic. And learn to enjoy Australia, one of the world’s best holiday destinations. And the South Pacific who really need our business as they have no coal, no iron ore, no sheep, no broad acres, but they need our patronage and we want our exotic winter holidays.

    1218

    • #
      TdeF

      What I would love to see is that Qantas and potentially a resurrected Virgin actually make flights cheap in the region and chase volume travel. In the last few years, the airfares have been close to extortionate and regional air travel slowly being strangled. Many people would love regional travel. And affordable winter holidays with prices less than those to fly to Paris.

      85

    • #
      Broadie

      Then the Cedar Meats abattoir worker in Melbourne who was ignored and this allowed the virus to spread and the abattoir actually doubled production.

      The sick, dead and dying workers doubled production?

      These are the strange inconsistencies that dog the missive.
      Could we have just unearthed another artifact of the testing procedure here in that workers in food production may inhale RNA from damaged cells aspirated in the processing? After all a food factory in Spokane displayed a high rate of positives.

      51

      • #
        bobl

        It’s cold in an abattoir. Ideal propagation conditions, however we should make director animals are not carrying the virus.

        30

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        1: Increased production by bringing in MORE casual workers on the line,
        To increase production for the end of Ramadan.

        2 : For reasons which remain unexplained ( and suspicious )
        Vic Health did not investigate thoroughly when the first person at Cedar Meats
        Was diagnosed positive.

        Are these things so hard to understand Broadie ?

        34

        • #
          Broadie

          Yes.

          I glad you have raised the understanding point Bill. The information we are being fed does not relate to what we are seeing. Empty Hospitals. layed off health workers, no funerals, no family feuds over estates, the absence of increased mortality in populations subject to risk.

          Does not compute! Nor do these ‘shock and awe’ graphics. When you read the disclaimers the States actually change their reporting from tests to individuals, so the data has the Mann-o-matic splice.

          The Chief Health Officer of Queensland is spruiking for more testing when she could just be happy people are not sick. The criteria for testing is now “if you even feel you have had the flu at some stage in the past, please have a test”. Gee talk about desperate for a positive test result to justify destroying the economy.

          71

          • #

            Broadie, and are the rows of coffins and graves in Brazil all fake too? Are the hundreds of doctors on youtube in countries across the world in on some conspiracy?

            The empty hospitals here and the “lack of funerals” could be evidence of a big hoax scare or that we got lucky (climate, geography, timing). But the overloaded hospitals in many places around the world show us what might have been.

            Now that we are finally getting some data on the virus it’s clear we need to test workers who work in cool room refrigerated conditions where viral survival time is measured in weeks and months.

            97

    • #
      yarpos

      Die because someone plays golf or surfs, serioudly? Like the holocaust thst pervaded the other States that allowed it?

      Agree this has exposed the ineptitude of the public service, but we sought of know that and there will be no consequences.

      31

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      Farmer Gez

      I’m a Victorian and I think Andrews has been a disaster.
      We have eleven new cases today and have dominated the case numbers for most of the month. Andrews concentrated on intimidating the public conducting activities with very low transmission risk and didn’t look at businesses like Cedar Meats. The warning bells had sounded weeks before in the US meat processing industry. No excuse for poor oversight.
      NSW, after the initial disasters is outperforming Victoria in disease mitigation. The bully boy tactics of Andrews has a very short shelf life.

      110

  • #
    TdeF

    And I have to note that the way scientists can track the infection by genotype is a clear indication of the speed of mutation. Clearly we have a major new tool in tracking and the major infections in Australia were detectably different. All policy has to be invested with the idea that any virus is a moving target. And that both more infectious and deadly and less infections and more benign are going to happen.

    I still believe that we would do as well to look for very benign mutation as all the billions being spent on an inoculation. The benign infection of course the huge advantage that a population can rapidly reach herd immunity without so many deaths. That, after all, is the experience with the flu itself derived from the deadly Spanish flu of 1918. As Sweden will eventually realise, using the original deadly virus to achieve herd immunity is mass suic*de, government approved.

    64

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      G’day TdeF,
      I’ve not seen any verifiable evidence that a herd immunity is being established. Or can be. Do you have a link?
      Cheers
      Dave B

      41

      • #

        TdeF — the problem with the benign mutation idea, as tempting as it is — is that there will be many thousands of less harmful mutants already out there. But unless one of them also happens to be the most infectious it will be out competed by the other strains.

        We can certainly try to identify the “nicer” slower mutants, but then we are left with an intractable moral and ethical dilemma — pretty much the same as the vaccine debate struggles with day in and day out.

        Let’s say we narrow it down to only 1,000 nicer mutants. If none of them outcompete the nasty strains we will have to actively push pump and reseed and reinfect the population to keep the nicer mutant ahead in the race. What you are talking about is a form of vaccine — but a live virus vaccine and they are the riskiest kind. It would take years of testing to know what the mortality rate is and the long term sequelae. Which genes in the population or which people are most at risk of a bad outcome?

        The whole medical system rests on the “do no harm” philosophy. Would we be happy to send a virus into the populace which we could not control once released (without lockdowns) and just say sorry to the families of the 0.01% who died?

        Doctors would refuse to take part unless there was strong evidence that this avoided some far greater harm and was also the only option available. I can’t see that situation arising. Since the timing of testing for a live vaccine is exactly as long as the testing for a killed vaccine, I can’t see any medical system in the world pursuing this when they could equally put resources into researching and testing the hundred or so options which are all killed vaccines. Generating a vaccine candidate is easy. It’s the testing which is expensive.

        In a sense we are filtering for the nicer mutations already — we are hopefully identifying the sickest patients and taking them out of circulation faster than the patients with a less deadly form. Though doing this we are giving those nicer mutants an advantage.

        But of course, the wicked dilemma is that if there is a virus which is horribly deadly in some but asymptomatic in 80% of the population then it will keep spreading rapidly despite the deadliness, an despite our filtering.

        And this appears to be what we have…

        62

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Thanks Jo for sticking with this issue of a pandemic infectious disease.
    Thanks for beating drum in warning
    Thanks for keeping us abreast of what the cutting edge science is telling us about this disease.
    Thanks for persisting despite all the outright anger and distracting stuff from some readers.
    Australia has been hit by this pandemic far far lighter than almost any other major country.
    I think your posts had a huge impact in achieving that outcome.
    Thanks for that.

    1117

    • #
      Ian Hill

      Well said Bill.

      Re the hiccup which occurred with the overseas visitor in SA, it just proves that the email system must not be relied upon for extremely important matters. It happened to me once, although the matter was a much more mundane matter of cricket umpiring. But a phone call was required.

      I know the chief public health officer personally through sport and I’m sure everyone is appreciative of the results she and her team have achieved. She’s taken responsibility for the hiccup on the chin and apologised to the Vics.

      67

    • #
      Annie

      Seconded Bill.

      44

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    “Hindsight is a wonderful thing but only the psychic, not the scientific, knew the answers in March.”

    Then what are we to make of governing types doing the exact wrong thing in mid May?
    We see nascent authoritarians not letting a crisis go to waste.
    And what should we do about these martinets, clearly governing without consent with much of the governed even though possessing still
    the police power of the state?

    I fear many jurisdictions will never regain the freedoms they had before this pandemic. Governments, having lost credibility, will simply
    increase their power. Victoria seems a winner on multiple counts especially if, with international concurrance, Australia can resist
    the embrace of China.

    91

    • #
      Serp

      Whether or not “Australia can resist the embrace of China” its chances have already been greatly diminished thanks to the surreptitious joining of the BRI by the state of Victoria the premier of which remains oblivious to the treasonous tincture of his travails.

      100

      • #
        Annie

        Oblivious, or obstinate in pursuit of something sinister? I use the term sinister deliberately.

        70

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Yes true Annie
          And the egg on the face of the Labor state government
          Will be there a long time.

          35

    • #

      I fear many jurisdictions will never regain the freedoms they had before this pandemic.

      Indeed. Not an unreasonable fear. Which is why the only real freedom comes with zero virus, not “low continual virus” or “living with the virus”.

      Short sharp lockdowns that get rid of the virus also remove the need for long term tracking, monitoring, vaccines, protection packages, etc etc etc

      46

      • #
        Tim

        Why is no one talking about the actual test Jo?
        Dr Kerry Mullis who invented the PCR test has said many times it is not accurate enough to be a diagnostic test..

        My feeling is that all these so called asymptotic carriers are simple false positive tests in which case it has been panic stations for nothing.

        41

      • #
        Tel

        Mostly it requires people who love freedom.

        21

  • #

    IMHO Australia needs to take considerable care with respect to the seasonality of SARS-Coronavirus-2. This is from experiences with many other viral Infectious Respiratory Diseases (IRDs) – that infections in some places increase markedly in late autumn and winter.

    However, Australia also has considerable advantages, compared to Europe, the USA and other countries within the large Northern Temperate Zone.

    There is a dependence on how much the climate changes with season; this is primarily with latitude. The temperate zones have the greatest seasonality of IRDs; there is some variation in the sub-tropics and much less in the tropics. There are also differences from whether the climate is primarily continental, western maritime or eastern maritime – these can shift the boundary between sub-tropical and temperate, typically between latitudes of 35 degrees and 40 degrees.

    Concerning the actual seasonality in Australia most of Australia is not in the temperate zone; exceptions are Tasmania and a narrowish band across the most southern parts of Australia, particularly Victoria. Thus there will very likely be worsening of the R-factor in Tasmania and (particularly southern) Victoria. On top of this, the onset of the pandemic itself (mainly January to April 2020) confuses any initial evidence of a seasonal component (or not) in the those parts of Australia.

    The advantages that Australia has are (i) that Tasmania (and to a lesser extent Victoria) can be separated from the rest of Australia by selective lockdown policies – thus somewhat protecting the rest from the adverse seasonal effect; (ii) the populations of Tasmania (around 500,000) and to a lesser extent Victoria (around 6,600,000) are more easily controlled through test, track and trace – at least if (somewhat) isolated from the rest of Australia; (iii) large parts of Australia are likely to have less of an adverse autumn and winter effect on the R-factor.

    Looking at some of the interactive plots linked to by Jo, it can be seen that there is already an increase in infections in Tasmania and (to a somewhat lesser extent) Victoria. This is at least somewhat confirmatory of the above prediction.

    For Australia to benefit from selective lockdown policies in Tasmania and Victoria, action should be considered immediately and (very likely) introduced almost straight away.

    Keep safe and best regards

    22

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      We have been waiting for evidence of seasonality now since this pandemic started.
      So I’ve been looking at tropical places which do not have much temperature seasonality like Brazil where 26,700 + have now died mostly in the equatorial regions of Brazil. And in the USA there is the island of Puerto Ricco in the tropical Carribean sea. On that island 132 people have died in a population of 3.7 million.
      Puerto Rico is thus interesting :
      1; It is an island and thus could institute a quarantine like Australia has done
      2: The number of dead is ~30 more than Australia which has a population of 24 million
      3: It has a tropical climate and thus should have benefited from higher temperatures and lots of sunlight.

      On the face of this evidence, anyone claiming that Australia has benefited from it being Summer when this disease hit is simply wrong.

      PS Since April Southern Australia has had the coldest Autumn in many years.. In fcat Winter cam e early and hard. Buggered if I know where Global Warming has got to.

      411

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Not a single person ‘likes’ the data from Puerto Ricco.
        And 8 ‘persons’ dislike the fact that I drew attention to it.
        I’m glad that SCIENCE is not about likes or dislikes.
        It’s about the evidence.

        Puerto Ricco is evidence that this virus does not care
        If it’s hot or cold
        Or if it is wet or dry..The Cornona 19 virus does it’s thing – Find new victims.

        23

        • #
          Analitik

          Public thumbs up from me, Bill

          20

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            There are now 11 red thumbs for my Puerto Rico comment.
            That has to say something about their capacity to understand the evidence.
            Here on Jo Nova’s blog where Science is the focus.
            Big Sigh
            :-(

            11

  • #
    RickWill

    One key variable not mentioned in the controls is contact tracing.

    Taiwan has demonstrated that border controls and contact tracing are the key controls if done soon enough. Of course there needs to be a a fast, reliable test. If the border controls are late and there is community spread then quarantine becomes more important. However contact tracing is still a vital element to stay ahead of the exponential rise in places where contact is inevitable like aged care homes and meat works, for example.

    Sweden has quite strict rules for self isolation from others. The rules have not been mandated but the government has the authority to lock places down that do not comply with the rules – and has shut some restaurants. The great failing in Sweden is the lack of contact tracing. Essentially the only cases being found are from hosts arriving at hospital for testing and hospital staff. There is no effort to test broadly through the community or trace contacts of those hosting the virus upon arrival at hospital. There has been anti-body testing in Stockholm and they were surprised at the small number showing anti-bodies.

    Swedes are beginning to question the merit of their approach with now 4,266 CV19 deaths. The number of daily cases is typically over 600 but the daily deaths have dropped a little in the past week, possibly because they have locked down aged care homes. The questions are beginning to be raised internally. Anders Tegnell predecessor is now critical of the Swedish approach:
    https://en.as.com/en/2020/05/27/other_sports/1590601235_137088.html

    Former Swedish state epidemiologist Annika Linde, who was in office during two recent epidemics – the Swine Flu epidemic in 2009 and the Sars epidemic, three years later, says the government got it wrong not to lock the country down like the rest of the continent.

    Self isolating, at the current level, in Sweden will need to continue for a long time to keep the reproductive rate below one. There are so many people carrying the virus and so few immune that any change to current self isolating will push the infection rate above 1 and set off exponential growth again.

    Sweden is attempting to get Denmark to ease its closed borders with the country; but why would Denmark do that when their CV19 cases are down to 50 per day and Sweden is still up at 600 cases per day.

    Taiwan is now widely recognised as the gold standard in pandemic response:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/06/taiwan-sets-gold-standard-epidemic-response-keep-infection-rates/
    Contact tracing is a key feature of their response. That and border controls avoid tighter controls and economic impact.

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    • #
      yarpos

      Denmark doesnt have Sweden problem it has a rest of Europe and the world problem just like we do now.

      Execess deaths in Sweden continue you track mid range in Europe , more like Switzerland than anywhere, and way below France, Belgium and Spain. But they get the commentary as the stepped out of line. Like many others they would do things differently with hindsight, but that seems to be more around better protection of the vulnerable rather than the core approach.

      21

  • #
    RickWill

    The case of the Queensland nurse hosting the virus is now one of intrigue:
    https://www.9news.com.au/national/queensland-rockhampton-nurse-trip-to-malaysia-revealed-health-official-investigating-qld-news/b0c2ca47-baf7-48db-b042-1390ebf64baa#close

    The facts of this story are yet to be revealed but it appears the nurse has not been forthcoming in her story to CV19 tracing authorities. The challenges some individuals present! She may need her lawyers.

    60

    • #

      Any chance it was a false positive.?

      73

      • #
        RickWill

        The nurse worked in an aged care home and did not cause infections there. The authorities are trying to determine the carrier of the virus that killed a 30yo man in Blackwater. So far the only other case that they can place in that town is the nurse. She went for a job interview there when she came out of quarantine.

        The nurse has nor been forthcoming in her travels. She had been in Malaysia.

        It will be interesting to see how it unfolds. Queensland is maintaining closed borders on the basis the government thought it was not clear of cases but there is a question until they can find the source the virus in Blackwater.

        41

        • #
          peter

          Has the 30yr old who died been retested? With so many false positive tests coming back it is possible that even his +ve test was false. They should do 3 more separate tests on him for confirmation. If he was actually -ve, QLD need not do any of this expensive circus.

          40

        • #
          Tim

          The virus didn’t kill him. They only got one positive result with his Autopsy.. They did a second test which was negative.
          So as I have said previously the Dr who invented the PCR test says it is not accurate enough for diagnosis.

          He had been sick with other things for years.
          I call BS on this death as Covid.

          50

  • #

    The debate needs to move on, you say. Too right it does. This repetitive banging on about lockdowns working and using the case load as supposed proof is nothing but a superficial look at data without proving anything. Oh look, new cases are dropping while lockdowns were tightened – that proves it, doesn’t it? Laughable.

    Moving the debate on a bit could usefully include segmentation. The virus does not affect all people in the same way. The risks to health vary hugely. Obvious risk factors include age and the presence of co-morbidities, but there may be others. Lockdown effects also differ for different people. Neither the virus’ effects, nor the lockdown suppression effects, are uniformly distributed across the community so stop looking at aggregate case loads as if they were.

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    • #
      Greg in NZ

      This “repetitive banging on” is reminiscent of our own never-ending *Katman & Robin* sitcom here.

      No new cases for over a week; no one in hospital anymore; no cases at all in the South Island; yet the whole country is still (officially) under-the-thumb of a Level 2 lockdown. A 96-year-old in a nursing home died last week and was promptly added to ‘the list’, raising the C-19 tally to (the magic number of) 22.

      * Premier Jaxinda’s middle name is Kate, hence Katman, and Ashley Bloomfield’s is Robin – the caped crusaders! As an aside, Bloomfield D’OH (Director-General of Health) worked for the WHO in Geneva c.2011 then studied at Oxford’s Wafid Said Business School in 2018. Some readers may remember Sheikh Said was the billionaire ‘philanthropist’ caught up in the UK-Saudi arms deal of yesteryear. Strange bedfellows these ‘health professionals’ keep, eh?

      80

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Good news everyone! O/T yet pertinent:

        According to https://www.mountainwatch.com

        “New South [sic] Deputy Premier John Barilaro has confirmed June 22 as the opening date for the 2020 ski season, in line with the Victorian dates announced last week”.

        Wax yer sticks, file yer edges, haul out yer thermals and gloves and start stretching! Oh, there’s always a catch: “We are widely promoting the use of the Covid Safe app and are encouraging everyone to get on board”.

        One foot (30 cm) of snow is forecast for your Snowy Mountains over the next few days, bang-on 1st of June, perfect timing. Nope, not a lot of drastic life-threatening ‘change’ in the climate there. Enjoy the cold snap!

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        • #

          Sure David.

          Where is that data?

          22

          • #

            During my training it was made very clear to me that if the data does not exist then the data does not exist and that to press on with the data that does exist, knowing that it is not fit for purpose yet still making policy decisions, would be a serious example of professional misconduct.

            81

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      G’day David,
      Suggest you add vitamin D deficiency to your list. Seems significant to me. Maybe most significant??
      Cheers
      Dave B

      30

  • #
    Leon

    RIP Science 2020.

    https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1931

    In the UK: Lockdown deaths 20000. Covid-19 10000.
    When the evidence contradicts the modelling, the model is wrong.

    91

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The UK has it’s own huge unique medical problems.
      Including an government which has shown itself to be inept and incompetent
      At handling this new infectious disease.

      18

  • #
    The Quiet Farmer

    Enjoyed your coverage from your professional base. I heard Florida didn’t lock down hard but chose instead to protect the vulnerable. Is there any data enabling a comparison to our response?
    Would the warmer climate of Florida make that difficult?

    91

    • #
      PeterW

      There is an interesting comparison between Florida and New York.

      I what I hear is correct, Florida acted quickly to protect the most obviously vulnerable, by locking down aged-care facilities. On the contrary, it is alleged that New York required aged care facilities to accept recovering COVID patients discharged from hospitals.

      50

  • #
    TedM

    An excellent presentation by Virologist Steven Hatfill. It’s 1hr 15 minutes long but worth every minute of listening. “Trigger warning” for trolls, it supports almost every position that Jo has taken since the beginning of this pandemic. One worrying aspect is the warning of much worse things to come. “Trigger warning” for those with TDS, you could end up whimpering in a fetal position. But endure it, you could learn something. Please overlook my sarcasm.

    https://youtu.be/NpA7nf3sibM

    45

    • #
      Serp

      I am halfway through and need to lash out against listening to Hatfill insisting on saying “pre-plan” when “plan” is enough; that’s all, a minor cavil.

      20

      • #
        Serp

        “This is our last warning before the real thing comes” is his signoff message and we need to be ready for the next one.

        50

        • #
          TedM

          Yes Serp, maybe we can consider this as a training run, albeit an extremely costly one in some countries. His reference to sub-clinical doses of the virus that leads to immunity but not the disease. Hope I remembered that terminology correctly.

          21

          • #
            Serp

            Taiwan alone was ready. I see no reason to suppose that next time will be any different particularly given examples such as the UK and the Netherlands suppressing mortality figures.

            40

  • #
    Peter

    Stage 3 compulsory lockdowns started on March 31 and by April 10 when they would have had an effect, reported cases had dropped considerably.

    The lockdowns achieved nothing and there is a wealth of information. From around the world supporting this.

    A couple of days ago, The Norwegian. Chief Health officer said lockdowns achieved nothing and there are many cases in the US where states that didn’t lock down had lower rates than states that did.

    121

    • #
      yarpos

      Just like the climate debate people see what they want to see, use the numbers with the most drama and interpret them to suit their narrative. You cant even say history will be the judge anymore as that is continually adjusted and spun.

      80

    • #

      There is a drop in infections from April 7 that is “eyeballable” on the graph.

      Was that step down a March 31 effect or not? Too hard to tell. We may never know if Stage 3 dropped infections further reducing the community spread. Would cases have stayed at 10+ daily?

      Would a few of those extra cases have caused other CedarMeat clusters?

      A drop from 10+ cases a day to 5+ cases a day is a big reduction in Ro. Even if it seems like a huge cost “just to stop a few infections”, beware what we don’t see is the cluster outbreaks that never occurred.

      As long as any virus is circulating the 100+ clusters will happen. And if mass churches and football games restart then a 100+ cluster could be an 8000+ cluster (See South Korea).

      Thus, the value of cutting cases from 10 to 5 (and thereupon to zero faster) may be priceless — it may allow the large mass events to open again.

      54

  • #
    Peter

    [Duplicate]AD

    00

  • #
    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Rob.

      Thanks for putting that up.

      It’s absolutely full of common sense analysis based on fact.

      Says a lot about the use of any particular accepted “meme” that will boost a politician. Politicians aren’t interested in the actual facts: there are only two things they will check, will their own family be O.K., and how will their actions look in the media.

      A great piece.

      KK

      22

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Just some other ‘scientists’ in Germany this time
      Who think that that Swedish strategy is right…

      I think those blokes should go talk to some of the 4000+
      Swedes dead from Covid 19. in a population of 10 million.

      Meanwhile in Germany 8394 people are dead from Covid 19
      In a population of 80 million.

      Simple arithmetic tells me the Germans did far better than Sweden.

      412

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        On the face of it as presented, Sweden should be condemned, but do we have the whole picture?

        There are many ways of looking at things through the prism of political imperative.

        Some other figures.

        “In Germany around 3.5 million people were care-dependent in 2017 [3] and, therefore, received benefits either from the social or the private long-term care insurance. Among these, nearly 750,000 were older than 65 years and lived in nursing homes. ”
        So if I could rephrase your comment:

        “Meanwhile in Germany 8394 people are dead from Covid 19
        In a population of 750,000 nursing home residents.”

        I’ve read figures that said for one country the average “stay” in a nursing facility was 18 months.

        Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out how many Germans over 65 die each year normally, without CV19 giving a little tip.

        KK

        42

  • #
    Robber

    The chart is misleading because it doesn’t show the exponential rise in Victorian cases during March and up to April 20.
    5/3 10 cases; 10/3 18; 15/3 57; 20/3 178; 25/3 466; 30/3 821 cases.
    5/4 1135 cases; 10/4 1231; 15/4 1299; 20/4 1329 cases.
    New daily cases in Victoria peaked at 114 on March 28.
    The lock down certainly worked, and by May 1 the 7 day rolling average of new cases was down to 3 per day.
    But of concern is that by mid May that average had risen to 14/day, now back to 6/day.
    That rise was driven by 100 cases in the Cedar Meat works, and some outbreaks in aged care homes.
    And interesting to note that across Australia, with all the debate about opening up borders between States, current active cases:
    NSW 376; Vic 64; WA 25; Tas 8; Qld 6; SA 1;
    In the last 2 weeks Vic has halved the number of active cases, while NSW has only reduced total active cases by 50.

    41

    • #
      Robber

      Now I see a report in The Australian that NSW has just 71 active cases. Has covid19data got it wrong?

      30

  • #
    Furiously curious

    A full on take down of the Lancet study, that the WHO has used to close down numerous HCQ studies around the world. Hopefully watch this space for developments. Even the Guardian has questions!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUD_wvkNhnk

    60

  • #
    Robber

    From The Age: “Cedar Meats management ignored reports of workers who believed they may have had coronavirus in mid-April as “rumour and innuendo” weeks before health officials shut down the abattoir. Between April 13 and 17, Cedar Meats and Labour Solutions, the labour-hire firm that provides more than half of the Cedar Meats workforce, had daily phone calls about a small group of workers, some of whom were off on sick days, who told management they believed they had COVID-19 or believed their co-workers were infected.”
    “Despite knowing of multiple confirmed cases, it took until April 29 for Professor Sutton to order the site to shut. He has since admitted it may have been a mistake not to shut down the site before its third case.”
    More than 110 people have been infected in the meatworks cluster, which is the state’s largest coronavirus outbreak.

    90

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      “it may have been a mistake not to shut down the site before its third case.”
      No, the Victorian Dpt of Health was incompetent not to shut the Ceder Meats plant down.
      The idiots ate Vic. Health behaved like the three wise monkeys
      See No evil
      Hear No Evil
      Say No Evil.

      34

  • #
    WXcycles

    Friday’s data:

    All countries with more than 250 active cases, and higher than 3.0% daily spread, sorted by new cases.

    New Cases | Country | Active Cases | % New v Act | % Died
    29,526 … Brazil … 247,213 … 11.9 … 5.97 (Brazil should overtake USA end of June – 3 million by 1st week July)
    8,572 … Russia … 223,992 … 3.8 … 1.13
    8,105 … India … 85,884 … 9.4 … 2.87 (Currently heading for 880,000 byt end of June)
    6,506 … Peru … 81,264 … 8.0 … 2.85 (This will become another very large infection in June)
    3,695 … Chile … 51,096 … 7.2 … 1.04
    3,377 … Mexico … 15,718 … 21.5 … 11.11 (Somehow there are constant ‘miracle’ recoveries in Mexico)
    2,819 … Iran … 24,060 … 11.7 … 5.23 (One endless miracle of rapid recoveries)
    2,801 … Pakistan … 40,406 … 6.9 … 2.06
    2,523 … Bangladesh … 33,247 … 7.6 … 1.36
    2,095 … UK … N/A … #VALUE! … 14.07 (Boris feels people should not know how badly his Govt has performed)
    1,993 … Qatar … 32,267 … 6.2 … 0.07
    1,837 … South Africa … 13,536 … 13.6 … 2.09 (Another country with secret ‘miracle’ treatments)
    1,581 … Saudi Arabia … 24,295 … 6.5 … 0.56 (More miracles!)
    1,322 … Colombia … 18,922 … 7.0 … 3.20
    1,289 … Egypt … 15,692 … 8.2 … 3.98
    1,141 … Turkey … 31,668 … 3.6 … 2.77
    1,072 … Kuwait … 15,717 … 6.8 … 0.77
    1046 … Philippines … 11,972 … 8.7 … 5.66
    906 … Belarus … 23,150 … 3.9 … 0.55
    811 … Oman … 7,384 … 11.0 … 0.41
    717 … Argentina … 10,111 … 7.1 … 3.37
    678 … Indonesia … 17,204 … 3.9 … 6.03
    638 … UAE … 15,813 … 4.0 … 0.78
    623 … Afghanistan … 12,154 … 5.1 … 1.80
    619 … Bolivia … 7,356 … 8.4 … 3.49
    611 … Singapore … 14,206 … 4.3 … 0.07
    567 … Germany … 10,325 … 5.5 … 4.70
    463 … Dominican Republic … 6,777 … 6.8 … 2.95
    460 … Armenia … 5,259 … 8.7 … 1.38
    429 … Ukraine … 13,198 … 3.3 … 2.98
    416 … Iraq … 2,644 … 15.7 … 3.15
    400 … Panama … 4,665 … 8.6 … 2.60
    397 … Bahrain … 4,734 … 8.4 … 0.14
    387 … Nigeria … 6,344 … 6.1 … 2.81
    356 … Kazakhstan … 4,838 … 7.4 … 0.37
    350 … Portugal … 11,652 … 3.0 … 4.33
    313 … Ghana … 5,161 … 6.1 … 0.45
    263 … Equatorial Guinea … 1,094 … 24.0 … 0.92
    230 … Azerbaijan … 1,806 … 12.7 … 1.16
    203 … Guatemala … 3,703 … 5.5 … 1.84
    191 … Romania … 4,905 … 3.9 … 6.57
    182 … Gabon … 1,889 … 9.6 … 0.57
    176 … Netherlands … N/A … #VALUE! … 12.86 (Also not keen on reporting data for comparison)
    175 … Sudan … 3,472 … 5.0 … 5.15
    173 … DRC … 2,364 … 7.3 … 2.44
    171 … Moldova … 3,330 … 5.1 … 3.65
    170 … Nepal … 1,000 … 17.0 … 0.50
    137 … Algeria … 3,074 … 4.5 … 6.98
    137 … Ethiopia … 763 … 18.0 … 0.83
    127 … Kenya … 1,245 … 10.2 … 3.55
    123 … Haiti … 1,386 … 8.9 … 2.43
    123 … Tajikistan … 1,870 … 6.6 … 1.28
    119 … CAR … 850 … 14.0 … 0.11
    115 … Israel … 1,927 … 6.0 … 1.67
    109 … Ivory Coast … 1,348 … 8.1 … 1.16
    103 … Malaysia … 1,382 … 7.5 … 1.49
    103 … Guinea … 1,634 … 6.3 … 0.60
    84 … El Salvador … 1,221 … 6.9 … 1.84
    81 … Denmark … 785 … 10.3 … 4.90
    81 … Senegal … 1,650 … 4.9 … 1.20
    78 … Maldives … 1,389 … 5.6 … 0.31
    71 … Morocco … 2,241 … 3.2 … 2.62
    68 … Kyrgyzstan … 558 … 12.2 … 0.96
    61 … Guinea-Bissau … 1,206 … 5.1 … 0.64
    58 … S. Korea … 770 … 7.5 … 2.36
    42 … Madagascar … 529 … 7.9 … 0.72
    35 … Ireland … 1,142 … 3.1 … 6.61
    33 … Finland … 962 … 3.4 … 4.63
    32 … Switzerland … 609 … 5.3 … 6.22
    28 … Sri Lanka … 794 … 3.5 … 0.64
    27 … Austria … 640 … 4.2 … 4.01
    24 … Uzbekistan … 726 … 3.3 … 0.40
    23 … Bosnia and Herzegovina … 529 … 4.3 … 6.16
    New Cases | Country | Active Cases | % New v Act | % Died

    New Cases | Country | Active Cases | % New v Act | % Died
    23 … Australia … 488 … 4.7 … 1.44

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    AndyG55

    Victorian lockdown worked: it stopped community !

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    AndyG55

    Went for a drive around the NEwcastle foreshore this morning.

    No parking available anywhere

    Finally found one, and went to get a coffee at the Blue Door at Merewether Beach.. queue was 20 or so long, so I gave up.

    Came back via Bunnings in Kotara.. traffic and people everywhere. !!

    Typical pre-CV-19 crowds.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Andy, same story in Mt Barker SA, yesterday afternoon.
      Cafes crowded and queues at most of them
      Traffic at Bunnings was chokers.
      Good to get home and make a big pot of Plunger coffee with thickened cream.
      :-)

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    ren

    Macromolecular Studies in Łódź, the Polish Academy of Sciences (PL: CBMiM PAN) composed of M. Turek MA, dr. E. Różycka-Sokołowska, prof. M. Makowska-Janusik, dr. M. Koprowski and dr. K. Owsianik under the direction of prof. P. Bałczewski developed a two-component drug that can be used not only in the treatment of COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, but also as the prevention of its development and a way of strengthening the immune response directed against SARS-CoV-2. The invention was filed with the Polish Patent Office (- patent application of 29.04.2020, P.433749).

    The main component of the developed drug is the active substance used so far to treat hypertension, affecting the ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2), which is also a receptor of SARS-CoV-2, with the help of which the virus penetrates into the cell. By blocking this receptor, the active substance can prevent the development of acute respiratory failure syndrome, which is the main cause of death of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. What is more, it also increases the Ang-(1–7) production. Currently, worldwide in less than 2 months, 38 active clinical trials have already been recorded on the effects of this active substance and other drugs in this group on SARS-CoV-2. An additional beneficial effect of the developed formulation is provided by the second component (a nutraceutical), which is a key compound that allows the strengthening of the immune response, mainly in viral infections, and also prevents ventilator-induced lung injury, which is especially vital in treating COVID-19. Importantly, the main component of the developed drug is characterised by poor solubility, which results in its low bioavailability. The developed co-amorphisation methodology, which allows for a dual-track drug system, has led to a stable pharmaceutical form, characterised by up to 24 times higher solubility of the starting component and proportionally greater bioavailability.

    The carried out research was funded from the National Science Centre Preludium project (M. Turek) No UMO-2019/33/N/ST5/01602 and the statutory research subsidy of the Division of Organic Chemistry of the Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies in Łódź, the Polish Academy of Sciences (PL: CBMiM PAN) No. 500-02.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Blogger/Sunclimate-719393721599910/

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    Peter

    Compulsory lockdowns in Victoria did not start on March 24, they started on March 31 as the ffolloeing link shows.

    https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/202004/2001628_Stay%20home.%20Protect%20our%20health%20system.%20Save%20lives._Staying%20the%20course20_April_2020.pdf

    I played golf in Victoria on Friday March 27 and he lockdowns started the following Tuesday. By the time these lockdowns could have had any effect, reported covid cases has dropped by 75%.

    Lockdowns do not work, there scso much information to support this if you open Your mind.

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    Rob Kennedy

    To a lot of people the pandemic is a serious health problem which just ‘happened’, much like a natural disaster, beyond the abilities of world leaders to deal with. I believe that there is a much more political dimension to the current crisis. James Corbett of the Corbett Report (www.corbettreport.com) featured his report back ten years ago on the coming planned pandemic(Medical Martial Law). It could be true that planning for a pandemic is a prudent thing to do cosidering events like the Spanish flu of 1919, but when it is accompanied with social engineering policies akin to George Orwell’s “1984″ as documented in “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development” published jointly by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Business Network in May 2010 where on page 18 they outline “Lockstep”, whereby a pandemic will enable a “A world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership and limited innovation and growing citizen pushback”. Our leaders are controlled in a for-real ‘Yes, Minister’ scenario where W.H.O experts such as Jane Halton (who attended the ‘Event201′ conference in New York last October) act as advisors to make sure policies as formulated at Event 201 are carried out to the satifaction of W.H.O. and the people funding that organisation. This of course leads us to the philanthropist, Bill Gates, who has an agenda to further the progress of his familiy’s obsession with eugenics. There are other side issues to consider: the Covid 19 test results found to be ridiculosly unreliable by the President of Tanzania, the Italian MP’s speech castigating the Italian Government’s complicity in exaggerating the death toll due to Covid 19 (only 8% actually died from the virus), the W.H.O’s disinformation campaign against hydoxychloriquine.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      This thing has an air of unreality about it.

      But whatever the reality, we have already been crushed and it is hard to know whether the krushing has been warranted.

      But, never fear: whatever has been done and continues to be done is for our own good.

      With jobkeeper money raining on the population from the “future fund” nobody should be disadvantaged, excepting for those who live outside of Canberra.

      Steve has observed that the Ri needs to be kept as low as possible; preferably no deeper than the wrist and even better at single digit where Ri < 1.0.

      Whilst the Man Made Global Warming death by Incineration resulting from human origin CO2 Pandemic persists, no government anywhere can be trusted.

      The very fact that the CO2 sleaze has not be shut down is evidence that we are being Manipulated and taken on a very big ride, somewhere.

      KK

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    Peter

    A quote from the Nick Lewis URL above…

    “However, the populations of states that introduced milder restrictions and are in reality pursuing a herd immunity strategy may find the imposition of strict restrictions for a short period bracketing the crossing of the HIT to be an attractive option. “

    The other “benefits” of a compulsory lockdown are increased suicides, increased domestic and sexual abuse, increased alcoholism and drug abuse, increased despair and depression, economic devastation and increased subservience to those in power to those who want to “save” them.

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    Kalm Keith

    Bill says:

    “repeated attempts by various Chinese regimes to conquer China over 2000 years. The most recent was in 1979.”

    That’s not unique to the Chinese; the Democrats have been trying to conquer the USA for many years now but the weirdest self conquering has been in Europe where all the independent countries got together to form a bigger entity, The EEU, which has almost conquered them all.

    Just what is going on?

    KK

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    Tel

    We now know that children are not major spreaders like they are in nearly every other respiratory disease. We didn’t know that then.

    How do you think you know this?

    In your own data you mark the start of the Victorian “lockdown” by the day they closed the schools.

    New York City refused to close schools until the disease was well underway. Then later they acted all surprised when they found that people in “lockdown” were getting sick at home. Children bringing it home might be one very simple explanation.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/06/ny-gov-cuomo-says-its-shocking-most-new-coronavirus-hospitalizations-are-people-staying-home.html

    “If you notice, 18% of the people came from nursing homes, less than 1% came from jail or prison, 2% came from the homeless population, 2% from other congregate facilities, but 66% of the people were at home, which is shocking to us,” Cuomo said.

    “This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home,” he added. “We thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.”

    New York did some other stupid things, like sending infected patients into nursing homes … but that doesn’t explain the people who got sick while stuck at home. They have people crammed into department buildings so perhaps some of the spread was by air, but most apartments don’t share A/C with the neighbours so this would explain people getting sick in the office, but not at home, unless they were getting sick from other household members.

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    Ross

    Jo, the chart dates and your statement that Vic went into semi-lockdown dont match. The dates on the X axis of the chart appear to be April. You state lockdown start was 24/3/20 – which is it??

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    Ross Stacey

    https://www.facebook.com/BlazeMedia/videos/255403202344412/
    This is a terrible indictment on the Medical establishment!

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      He had me until ~ the 4th minute of his monologue.
      Six state governors are criminally liable for putting Covid 19 infeted aged persons in aged care homes.
      But then he goes on to say that they were following the USA national CDC issued guidelines.
      And names the person who devised the guidelines.

      Yes it was a huge mistake.
      (And it was a huge mistake in the UK which did the same thing. )
      But blaming the 6 state governors for following the national policy is a bit stupid.
      And seems to me like just another set piece lynching along party political lines.
      Once again the USA seems unable to pull together and act cooperatively & nationally on the pandemic disease.
      I know Americans will not like me saying it, but I will say it anyway :
      How blessed I am to live in Australia.

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    peter

    The graph in the article “state and territory breakdowns of new daily confirmed cases doesn’t starts on April 20 which is probably a typo. However the graph bears little resemblance to the official Victorian graph shown below.

    https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/202004/2001628_Stay%20home.%20Protect%20our%20health%20system.%20Save%20lives._Staying%20the%20course20_April_2020.pdf

    The link above clearly shows compulsory lockdowns (stage 3) beginning on March 30 and by the time stage 3 could have had any effect, daily cases had dropped by 75%.

    The actual data shows that compulsory lockdowns achieved NOTHING.

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    Kevin a

    The Queensland man who was thought to have been Australia’s youngest ever person to die from coronavirus may not have had the disease at all.
    A day after his death, Queensland Health stated the 30 year old had died WITH COVID-19 in a case that baffled doctors given the state was recording very few new infections and no one else in the town had tested positive.

    So was it a hoax?

    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/coronavirus-australia-coroners-report-finds-nathan-turner-did-not-have-covid19/news-story/347ee7a2dc69edc716aa8953dc8cc24a

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