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Explained: Why the Chief Health Officer thinks Victoria may have hit its COVID-19 peak

Despite a record number of new coronavirus cases in Victoria on Monday, the Chief Health Officer shared a hopeful statement: we may have hit the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

Professor Brett Sutton’s statement was met with doubt by some.

But Chair of Epidemiology at Deakin University, Professor Catherine Bennett, says the prediction matches the modelling and the COVID-19 reproduction rate has stabilised.

Press PLAY below to hear why an epidemiologist agrees yesterday may have been the peak.

“They would have a team of people looking at the numbers … and tracking to see what’s happening,” she told Ross and John.

“While he’s still saying we need to be very cautious … that’s a good sign and it actually matches what we’re seeing, those of us looking at these numbers more closely outside of the health department.

“We may yet see some high numbers because we have these larger outbreaks being investigated within facilities, but that reproduction rate is still holding firm. Even with over 500 yesterday, we’re seeing just about the same number of cases that we had five days ago.”

But Professor Bennett warned the reproduction rate must fall further before lockdown can be eased.

“You’d want to be down into single figures so you then know that you’ve suppressed it before you start thinking about opening up,” she said.

Health chief says today ‘should be the peak’ of Victoria’s COVID-19 outbreak