How Australia is winning the war on COVID-19
Australia is winning the war against COVID-19 with the infection rate slowing dramatically as a result of travel bans and social distancing measures.
The number of people with the virus topped 4,000 on Sunday but instead of doubling every three days it is now doubling every five days.
Last week the number of new infections was rising by around 25 per cent a day and we were on track for nearly 90,000 cases by Easter and 2.5 million cases of the virus by Anzac Day.
But in the last few days the infection rate has dipped to around 10 to 15 per cent a day which means at most only around 20,000 cases by Easter and 150,000 cases by Anzac Day.
This is what health experts and politicians mean when they say they want to "flatten the curve" of COVID-19 infections.
Even though the infection rate is slowing it will still put our hospital system under enormous strain.
If we reach 20,000 cases around 1,000 people would need an intensive care bed, we have 2,200 of these beds and state and federal governments are trying to double that number.
If case numbers rise to 150,000 cases it's estimated we would need 7,500 ICU beds, nearly double our capacity.
More than 209,000 Australians have been tested for the virus and most, 98 per cent, have returned a negative result.
To date 16 people have lost their lives to COVID-19 but the death toll in Australia has been well below that in China and Italy.
Australia's death rate is less than half a per cent while in Italy where more than 10,000 people have died the death rate is 10 per cent in China it is estimated to be 1.4 per cent.
This could be because in Australia it is people in their twenties who have been most likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 and the virus is more likely to kill the elderly and those with heart disease and other chronic health problems.
Originally published as How Australia is winning the war on COVID-19