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Epidemiologist casts doubt over leaked COVID-19 modelling predicting huge Victorian surge

Leaked government modelling published by The Australian today suggests Victoria’s COVID-19 peak is weeks away, with daily numbers tipped to go above 1000 for eight days.

But an epidemiologist has cast doubt on the figures.

Deakin University Chair in Epidemiology, Professor Catherine Bennett, says she was “a bit surprised” by the modelling.

She says our tougher lockdown rules are working, despite yesterday’s record high number of new cases.

“It is working, we just can’t see it in the numbers,” she told Ross and Russel.

Professor Bennett said rising numbers are being driven by existing outbreaks, and once those are quelled, we will see numbers fall quickly.

“The underlying suppression of transmission is what really matters because that’s what stops seeding these outbreaks and that’s what will bring the numbers down,” she said.

“I’m expecting that to be happening in the next week or two.”

Professor Bennett said if the modelling leaked by The Australian is correct, and the state government knows something others don’t, Victorians deserve to be told.

“If there is a different story … We need to know what else they know that we don’t know.”

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