Epidemiologist Professor Emma McBryde predicts Covid cases in Sydney will remain in the hundreds

An infectious disease expert has stated that Australia cannot be closed further to achieve zero cases of Covid community transmission.

Professor Emma McBryde, an epidemiologist at James Cook University, has also predicted that daily cases of the more contagious Delta strain in Sydney would remain in triple digits until at least October.

“My prediction is that Sydney won’t reduce business to zero, but what it will do is maintain a small number of businesses and by small I mean a few hundred a day or less for a few more months,” she told the ABC’s 7.30 program. .

“By then the rest of Australia will have been adequately vaccinated and in a position where we stop focusing on cases and start looking at hospitalizations and deaths and then Sydney will join the rest of Australia at that point.”

An infectious disease expert has stated that Australia cannot be closed further to achieve zero cases of Covid community transmission. Professor Emma McBryde, an epidemiologist at James Cook University, has also predicted that daily cases of the more contagious Delta strain in Sydney would remain in triple digits until at least October.

In New South Wales, cases continued to reach new all-time highs even after Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian extended the lockdown for a further four weeks until August 28.

The numbers on Monday remained high at 209 and stood at 199 on Tuesday, with 50 infectious in the community.

On Sunday, the state had a record 239 new locally acquired cases, despite even stricter restrictions in western and southwestern Sydney in the local government areas of Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Parramatta, Blacktown, Campbelltown and Georges River.

Still, the highest number in NSW since the start of the pandemic is just one-third of the 723 cases recorded by Victoria on July 30 last year, following a quarantine hotel debacle in Melbourne.

Professor McBryde, who is based in Townsville, said the number of cases was still low by world standards.

“In Sydney, while we’re very concerned about these 200 to 300 cases a day, that’s not a lot of cases compared to what we’ve seen in the UK and US,” she said.

Since the pandemic, all Australian mainland states except NSW have implemented a zero-Covid strategy imposing harsh lockdowns in a bid to reach 28 days of no community-acquired cases, even if numbers are low.

Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has instead used the phrase ‘close to zero’ to justify lifting the lockdown.

In New South Wales (pictured is Fairfield in southwestern Sydney), cases continued to hit new record highs even after Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian extended the lockdown for another four weeks until August 28.

In New South Wales (pictured is Fairfield in southwestern Sydney), cases continued to hit new record highs even after Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian extended the lockdown for another four weeks until August 28.

Because the Indian Delta strain is significantly more contagious than the original virus from China, Queensland Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles announced a rapid, three-day shutdown on Saturday in 11 council areas covering Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich after six locally acquired cases were discovered.

That was extended Monday through Sunday, with 13 new daily Delta cases.

Professor McBryde said this approach was untenable.

“We need to have a plan B,” she said.

“I don’t believe we should have thresholds that mean we have herd immunity before we open because what that means is we have zero tolerance for any Covid transmission and I think it’s unrealistic and it will keep us in lockdown a lot too long.’

With the Indian Delta strain significantly more contagious than the original virus from China, Queensland Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles announced a rapid, three-day shutdown on Saturday in 11 council areas covering Brisbane (pictured is a Covid testing center), the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich after six locally acquired cases were discovered

With the Indian Delta strain significantly more contagious than the original virus from China, Queensland Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles announced a rapid, three-day shutdown on Saturday in 11 council areas covering Brisbane (pictured is a Covid testing center), the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich after six locally acquired cases were discovered

Only 19.2 percent of Australians aged 16 and over had been fully vaccinated by August 1, while 41 percent of the eligible population had received a single dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer, data from the Department of Health shows.

Last week, Nobel laureate Professor Peter Doherty suggested that the politics behind the zero-Covid strategy was behind lockdowns, predicting that this would be hard to undo even if more Australians were fully vaccinated.

“It will be politically difficult for the politicians to be open because there will be diseases circulating and we are so used to the idea that no virus should be allowed to circulate, but we are not shutting down the country because of the flu,” he said at 7:30 a.m. . .

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