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COVID-19 outlook: What an infectious diseases expert thinks Australia can expect

Neil Mitchell

Australia has fared well during the coronavirus pandemic, but we’re not likely to be rid of COVID-19 any time soon, according to a leading infectious diseases expert.

Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Australian National University Medical School, Peter Collignon, said a reduction in the number of cases we see is “the best we can hope for” in Australia.

“This is a virus that we’re not going to get rid of,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“I actually think it’s likely we’ll have low numbers in the community and we’ve got to accept that.”

But Professor Collignon said Victoria’s experience shows tough lockdown rules aren’t necessarily needed to curb the spread of the virus.

“You have had a number of community outbreaks in Victoria, that is more than other states currently,” he said.

“It just shows that having severe restrictions maybe doesn’t get you off the hook.”

Hand washing, social distancing, and staying home when you’re sick will help keep virus numbers down, according to the infectious diseases expert.

“We will get some outbreaks, I think we will invariably have more cases in winter, but I think we can keep it under control,” he said.

“People talk about elimination. I think it’s a mistake to use that term. I think the best we can hope for is very low levels of community transmission.”

Press PLAY below for Professor Collignon’s COVID-19 outlook.

Neil Mitchell