Omicron is still very much a presence in our lives but the Federal Government has warned another wave would likely hit in winter.
Speaking to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 on Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said more waves were to be expected with the next likely in a few months.
“In the future, we will have more waves. I think we will have another wave of Omicron in winter,” Kelly said.
“We won’t be leaving this pandemic for some time”.
But he said we were better armed for the next outbreak with the booster rollout chugging along.
“The way we live with COVID is changing, has changed already.”
“It will be very different because of the booster rollout, because of the availability of treatments and the clinical care that we have.”
He didn’t say anything about lockdowns but I’m crossing every one of my appendages we can actually do shit this winter.
Respiratory viruses like COVID-19 are more transmissible in winter because people interact more often indoors and in places with poor ventilation. But although our government wants us to “live with the virus” much like we live with the seasonal flu, we know COVID is more transmissible so it’s still likely people will be getting infected or reinfected this winter.
The good news is the Omicron wave looks like it’s peaked in Australia because daily case numbers and hospitalisations have started to drop.
Late last month a number of health experts said the current wave had “absolutely certainly” peaked in NSW and Vic, while others predicted the Omicron wave nationwide would peak in coming weeks. So it looks like we’re on track.
Daily case numbers in NSW and Vic have been sitting in the low tens of thousands in recent days, with about 12,000 recorded in each today.
We thank everyone who got vaccinated and tested yesterday.
Our thoughts are with those in hospital, and the families of people who have lost their lives.
— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) February 2, 2022
NSW COVID-19 update – Thursday 3 February 2022
In the 24-hour reporting period to 4pm yesterday:
– 95.5% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
– 94% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine pic.twitter.com/dFmL4Ymz1Z
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) February 2, 2022
Neither NSW nor Vic has announced when mask mandates will lift.
Last week the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned there was no end in sight for this pandemic just yet.