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Experts call Melbourne COVID-19 spike ‘unique’ because they tell what NSW can do to stop its own second wave

Why Sydney is avoiding the second wave: experts say Melbourne outbreak was ‘unique’ because they revealed what NSW can do to stop an explosion of coronavirus cases

  • Sydney can prevent complete closure of the city with local closures to stop the spread
  • UNSW epidemiologist said Melbourne’s second wave was “incredibly unique.”
  • Said the ‘closely linked’ family clusters were different from the Sydney pub outbreak
  • 21 cases have now been linked to an outbreak of COVID-19 at Casula’s Crossroads Hotel
  • Infectious disease expert Peter Collignon said ring-fencing can protect the city
  • Said a Bondi outbreak wouldn’t mean ‘Penrith must necessarily be closed’

Sydney can avoid the city-wide closure reimposed in Melbourne with local closures to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

Sydneysiders have so far avoided the explosion in cases that occurred in Victoria, despite the fact that 21 cases are now linked to an outbreak of the virus at a pub in Casula in the southwest of the city.

But Professor Mary-Louise McLaws of the epidemiologist at the University of New South Wales said the peak in NSW was very different from how the Melbourne outbreak spread.

“What happened in Melbourne was incredibly unique,” she said.

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Police questioning a pedestrian in Melbourne’s CBD on Monday as the city passes a six-week COVID-19 blockade. A leading epidemiologist has said that the circumstances surrounding the city’s outbreak were “incredibly unique.”

“We had a strongly interconnected family clustering. And that clustering was very large, with many people living in high density with close social and family ties. ‘

She said ABC news health authorities still had to act quickly in the outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel – the virus could have spread from anywhere in the state from its popular stopping point.

Peter Collignon, an infectious disease expert at Australian National University, said the pub outbreak in the western outskirts of Sydney was worrying.

He added that health authorities could stop the outbreak with rigorous ring fencing in contaminated suburbs.

Such a strategy would mean that certain parts of the city could be closed without imposing a third phase on the whole of Sydney.

“If you have an outbreak in Bondi, I’m not sure Penrith should necessarily be closed,” he said.

People line up in the car for a COVID-19 test at a test station at Southwest Sydney's Crossroads Hotel - which is linked to at least 21 virus infections - on Monday. Another expert said that local locks in hotspot suburbs could counter the spread of the virus in New South Wales

People line up in the car for a COVID-19 test at a test station at Southwest Sydney's Crossroads Hotel - which is linked to at least 21 virus infections - on Monday. Another expert said that local locks in hotspot suburbs could counter the spread of the virus in New South Wales

People line up in the car for a COVID-19 test at a test station at Southwest Sydney’s Crossroads Hotel – which is linked to at least 21 virus infections – on Monday. Another expert said that local locks in hotspot suburbs could counter the spread of the virus in New South Wales

Professor McLaws had previously said that when authorities were no longer able to effectively use contact tracking to suppress an outbreak, 100 cases were recorded over two incubation periods.

The incubation period for COVID-19 – the time between exposure to the virus and the first appearance of symptoms – is between one and 14 days, according to the federal government’s Department of Health.

The Casula outbreak has been linked to five other locations in Sydney, including a local gym, Canterbury Leagues Club and Sydney’s famous Star City Casino.

A health worker in protective equipment conducts COVID-19 tests on people in their cars at the Crossroads Hotel Test Center in Sydney on July 13

A health worker in protective equipment conducts COVID-19 tests on people in their cars at the Crossroads Hotel Test Center in Sydney on July 13

A health worker in protective equipment conducts COVID-19 tests on people in their cars at the Crossroads Hotel Test Center in Sydney on July 13

Growing concern over the spike in business has led South Australian Prime Minister Stephen Marshall to say that he will extensively review his state’s planned reopening to NSW and SA.

SA will lift restrictions from July 20, but Prime Minister Steven Marshall says there is a question mark over the existing timetable.

‘We have to look very closely at what happens to that cluster [Casula outbreak], that raises some real questions, “he said.

Pictured: The Sydney sites feared to be at the center of COVID-19 outbreaks

Pictured: The Sydney sites feared to be at the center of COVID-19 outbreaks

Pictured: The Sydney sites feared to be at the center of COVID-19 outbreaks

“We need to see if there is a major escalation between now and July 20.

“But if it is not safe to lift our border restrictions, then we will not.”

SA has previously lifted quarantine restrictions for people from Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Professor Peter Collignon from Australian National University

Professor Peter Collignon from Australian National University

Professor Peter Collignon from Australian National University

But it has imposed a tough border seal with Victoria, leaving locals alone and essential travelers back through the wave of infection in Melbourne.

Victorian authorities, meanwhile, are struggling to suppress a second wave of the coronavirus when new outbreaks crop up in Melbourne.

Of the 177 new COVID-19 cases reported Monday, 151 remain under investigation, a trend that has become a constant over the past week as health authorities work hard to establish links between cases.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the last infection had more than 200 cases after three consecutive days.

“I won’t be complacent about today’s number, it’s great that it’s below our peak, but we may not have reached our peak yet,” he told reporters.

“I’d like to see a week of declining numbers before I say I’m more confident in the direction we’re heading.”

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