Early data appears to show that NSW might slowly be exiting the worst of the pandemic, with the curve appearing to flatten as more people get vaccinated.
Several epidemiologists looked at Thursday’s numbers – 1,405 new cases recorded overnight – and noticed that they’re no longer exploding like they were in previous weeks.
UniSA Professor of Biostatics Adrian Esterman wrote on Twitter that the curve of new case numbers is “starting to look very peakish.”
While his “very rough” calculations potentially place the Reff number below one, he later told News.com.au that things are looking good regardless.
(The Reff number, for context, refers to how many people an infected persion will pass the virus on to. A Reff number lower than 1 means cases are going down.)
“What we’re seeing from the trend is that, although cases are increasing, they are increasing but at a slower rate each day,” he said, chalking up our progress to more and more people going out and getting vaccinated.
ANU infectious diseases physician and microbiologist Professor Peter Collignon also tweeted that “it does look like [the] NSW epidemic curve might be turning around.”
“We will be in a better position to be more confident in about one week’s time.”
By his own calculations, the Reff number is definitely going down, but it’s not below 1 just yet.
It’s still a bit early, but it does look like NSW epidemic curve might be turning around and down. We will be in a better position to be more confident in about 1 weeks time. pic.twitter.com/MLUgjbGLMf— Peter Collignon (@CollignonPeter) September 9, 2021
Even NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant herself, who is notoriously conservative when it comes to preempting good news, said there appeared to be some hope on the horizon.
“What I’m trying to say to those communities is we are, in some of those communities, starting to see some glimmers of flattening,” she said at the presser on Thursday morning.
“Now, as an epidemiologist, I do not want to call it too early. But I just want to give some hope that if you continue to stick the course, we may well see declining case numbers in some of those areas, as we see vaccination rates climb.”
Good, good, good.
However, we can’t forget that official modelling still projects that the next week or so might see the peak in cases, and if that’s the case, we can expect numbers to potentially climb as high as 2,000 new cases a day.
“We know that case numbers are likely to peak in the next week or so and we also know that our hospital system will be under the greatest stress in October,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterated for the zillionth time at the Thursday presser.
So there you have it. Some enticing numbers which should make you feel great about our collective effort thus far.
But we’ll only know for sure if things are cooling down in about a week or so. Get our your fingers and cross ’em.
All adult Aussies (yep, even those of us under 40) are currently able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor for more info.
The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.
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