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Coronavirus: The ‘major danger period’ an infectious diseases expert says ‘worries’ him

A leading infectious diseases expert has commended Australia’s management of the coronavirus pandemic, but says there is a “major danger period” ahead.

More than 240 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Victoria in May, compared to 108 cases in the rest of Australia.

Professor of infectious diseases at ANU’s Medical School, Peter Collignon, told Neil Mitchell he’s concerned about the coming months.

“Our next major danger period will be winter because all respiratory viruses spread more readily (in winter),” he said.

“Winter does worry me.”

Premier Daniel Andrews has told Victorians who can work from home to do so until at least the end of June, but Professor Collignon went further, saying those who can should work from home “at least until September” to reduce the risk of a winter COVID-19 surge.

But Professor Collignon said the country is entering the cold season in an enviable position.

“Only about 10 per cent of all the cases in Australia have been true community spread,” he said.

“If we keep up our testing, we keep our quarantining up, we keep up our very good contact tracing … plus is we get this sewage testing up so that we really know the level of viruses in the community … that will give us a really good indicator whether we’re on top of this.”

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