NSW curve flattening, say experts.
Leading epidemiologists have expressed optimism that NSW has flattened the curve of COVID-19 cases after 11 weeks in lockdown and rising vaccination rates.
Speaking to the ABC, Professor Catherine Bennett, Chair of Epidemiology at Deakin University noted that the reproduction number — that is, how many people on average an infected person will pass the virus on to — has held steady at 1 in recent days, down from the 1.3 seen for much of the state's Delta outbreak.
"I think we’ve got a really good sign that we are now seeing this curve flatten," Prof Bennett said.
The state has seen a downward trend of cases for the first time since the Delta outbreak began in mid-June. NSW health authorities reported 1257 cases on Monday, down from a high of almost 1600.
Epidemiologist Adrian Esterman from the University of South Australia was also confident the curve was flattening, but told ABC Radio National this does not mean case numbers have peaked.
"I'm seeing the rate in growth of cases slowing right down. So it has all the sign of a peak, but the numbers are not there to tell me it is a peak and it won't be for a few days yet. But I am very optimistic," Prof Esterman said.
NSW Health's own pandemic modelling predicted cases would peak this week, while hospitalisations would not reach their highest level until mid-October.
On radio now: Several leading epidemiologists believe NSW has hit (or will soon hit) the peak of COVID case numbers. The curve has flattened. They're all pointing to vaccination as the reason— David Lipson (@davidlipson) September 13, 2021
"We've now got a sense that we've got this wave under control in NSW... It's working" https://t.co/7LWyzV7xhS
With vaccination rates climbing, NSW residents in some areas are already benefiting from eased restrictions.