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Infectious disease expert covers a range of COVID-19 issues with Neil Mitchell

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One of the world’s leading minds when it comes to infectious disease says it’s “very unlikely” Melbourne will end up with COVID-19 rates like London or New York.

But Professor Peter Collignon told Neil Mitchell it was crucial Victoria got its numbers under control.

Professor Collignon, from the Australian National University Medical School, has advised the World Health Organisation and is a member of the Infection Control Expert Group.

That group advises the federal government.

He covered a range of coronavirus-related matters with Neil Mitchell on Monday.

“I think everybody is worried that we might end up like New York, or London, but I think that’s very unlikely,” Professor Collignon said.

“I think the reason they were so bad was because they probably had six weeks, or even two months, of unrecognised spread during the winter with a virus that they didn’t even realise was there until February and had been circulating in France, at least, since December.

“We’re not going to get in that situation.

“That doesn’t mean we’re not going to get more cases and might get quite a number over winter, but we need to stop them because for every 100 cases we get, on average, one person dies.”

Professor Collignon reminded Australians that despite low numbers, the virus was not going anywhere until an effective vaccine is made.

He said we’ll be “stuck with it” for at least the 18 months or two years.

He also shared his views on the new saliva test, as well as what Victoria had done “wrong” compared with NSW.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview