How many COVID-19 cases a day can we live with?

by | Coronavirus - COVID-19

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist

There’s no right or wrong answer to this one. It really depends on the infrastructure you’ve got, to test and to contact trace, and do that incredibly quickly, and incredibly thoroughly. And it doesn’t take too long for those resources to be overwhelmed. So for those resources, to be able to actually control the epidemic, probably 10 cases a day, but I’m guessing here, it depends on the resources you’ve got, in the state in which you live. These are not easy numbers to come by.

Situation in Victoria

The reason, at the time I’m recording this, Victoria has just announced its 5-stage process to get out of lockdown. A lot of that will be contingent, dependent on their resourcing for contact tracing, and how good they are at doing that. That can make a lot of difference. And it’s also our behaviour as well. So it’s our, if we continue to socially distance, if we have mandatory mask wearing, then you can actually speed out of this, and tolerate higher numbers.

What about in NSW?

But you know, for example, New South Wales has no mandatory mask wearing, and not a lot of people are wearing masks. So if we had a problem in New South Wales, we’d probably have to go down to much lower numbers, because we’re not mask wearing.