As of 1 May 2020, there had been 6,808 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia. Of these, 98 had died from the disease. The epidemic had been in decline since mid-March, with 308 cases confirmed nationally since 14 April. This suggests that the collective actions of the Australian public and government authorities in response to COVID-19 were sufficiently early and assiduous to avert a public health crisis — for now. Analysing factors that contribute to individual country experiences of COVID-19, such as the intensity and timing of public health interventions, will assist in the next stage of response planning globally. We describe how the epidemic and public health response unfolded in Australia up to 13 April. We estimate that the effective reproduction number was likely below 1 in each Australian state since mid-March and forecast that clinical demand would remain below capacity thresholds over the forecast period (from mid-to-late April).
Analysis code is included in the supplementary materials. Datasets analysed and generated during this study are included in the supplementary materials. For estimates of the time-varying effective reproduction number (Figure 2), the complete line listed data within the Australian national COVID-19 database are not publicly available. However, we provide the cases per day by notification date and state (as shown in Figures 1 and S1) which, when supplemented with the estimated distribution of the delay from symptom onset to notification (samples from this distribution are provided as a data file), analyses of the time-varying effective reproduction number can be performed.
- James M McCaw
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Ben S Cooper, Mahidol University, Thailand
© 2020, Price et al.
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