COVID-19

Huge clue Covid may have peaked

A downturn in Australia’s seven-day rolling average suggests the country could be nearing peak Covid infections sooner than expected. “We are not calling it yet, there is what we have seen through the pandemic, something of a school holiday effect where transmission appears to dip off,“ Mr Butler told Nine. “It does seem cases are dropping off in some states, and hospital numbers have dropped off in the last couple of weeks, (but) they’re still very large.”National cabinet will meet virtually on Thursday morning for a briefing on the virus by chief medical officer Paul Kelly. Leaders will also be briefed about the nation’s response to the monkeypox outbreak, while Department of Agriculture secretary Andrew Metcalfe will provide an update on foot and mouth disease. It comes as pressure mounts on the government to release the Covid-19 modelling used to guide decision making. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese indicated last month it would be released “within weeks”.NED-6732 Symptoms of long CovidBut Mr Butler would not be tied down to a timeframe when asked on Wednesday. “We don’t want to see an uncoordinated release of modelling that potentially contradicts modelling released by other jurisdictions,” Mr Butler said. The Health Department estimates there are more than 325,000 active cases nationally.More than 4800 people are in hospital receiving treatment, with 162 in intensive care and 39 are on ventilators. “That‘s placing enormous pressure on our hardworking doctors and nurses and other hospital staff,” Mr Butler said on Thursday. “But we are quietly hoping that we have reached the peak earlier than we expected to.”

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