Australia’s coronavirus pandemic could peak as soon as next week, according to new data from the University of Sydney.
If 90 per cent of the country adopted social distancing measures, active cases would peak by mid-April, according to research led by Professor Mikhail Prokopenko.
The spread of the virus could be controlled by July.
If everyone continued to comply with the measures put into place so far across Australia, a total of 8,000 to 10,000 people will be infected during the pandemic.
As at 3.35pm on Monday, there are 5,795 cases of COVID-19 in Australia.
“The model updated with most recent data shows that Australia is very close to the incidence peak, and in two weeks’ time may be approaching the prevalence peak,” said Prokopenko said in a statement.
“What this means is that the number of new daily cases will begin to steadily reduce from now on.
“The number of all ‘active’ cases may keep rising until mid-April, and then start to slowly decline.”
Prokopenko added Australia seemed to be tracking well, but it was no time for complacency.
“The best outcome is a short-term pain, long-term gain scenario,” he said.
“Even a three-day delay in adopting strong social distancing measures (around 90 per cent) would cost us a three-week lengthening of the suppression period, meaning we would have to comply with social distancing for longer.”
Despite the data, Prokopenko said it was possible there could be another surge of cases in Australia.
“Of course, a rebound in the incidence and prevalence after the suppression period is possible, but it is not unavoidable,” he said.
“By July, more efficient and larger-scale testing methods are expected to be available.
Preventing a resurgence
“This, coupled with continued international travel restrictions, may very well be sufficient to prevent a resurgence of the disease.”
The death toll from coronavirus in Australia is at 40.