26 September 2023

DHHS finds health in staying home

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Experts in epidemiology from the Department of Health and Human Services have released modelling that shows that staying at home and physical distancing restrictions are working to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Working with Monash University and the Doherty Institute, the Department found that if no physical distancing restrictions were in place, Victoria would have seen up to 58,000 new coronavirus cases every day, overwhelming the State’s health system.

In a statement, Premier Daniel Andrews said the modelling also revealed that if a business-as-usual approach had been adopted, 10,000 intensive care beds would have been required and as many as 9,200 Victorians would have been presenting to hospital daily.

“Tragically, it also shows the immense human cost of the pandemic with as many as 36,000 Victorians dying,” Mr Andrews said.

“Thanks to current restrictions and the overwhelming number of Victorians doing the right thing, the modelling confirms that our curve is flattening.”

He said Victoria’s curve compared favourably with other countries that also acted early, like South Korea and New Zealand.

“By acting early and decisively, the catastrophic outcomes we have seen in places like Europe and New York have not happened here,” he said.

“But there is still a long way to go.”

Mr Andrews said the modelling showed that if restrictions were lifted too quickly coronavirus would again spread rapidly through the community and overwhelm the health system.

He said any decision to ease restrictions after the current State of Emergency would be informed by public health experts and modelling, combined with international experience.

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