'About to turn': Surprise prediction for NSW's daunting Covid crisis

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A leading epidemiologist believes NSW's daunting Delta outbreak is "about to turn".

Despite the state reporting a record 1,290 locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Monday, University of Melbourne epidemiologist Tony Blakely says as impressive vaccine rates continue, infections should soon begin to ease.

"I am hopeful that it is about to turn. Certainly, I think that that is probably what's going to happen," he told ABC News Breakfast.

Professor Tony Blakely believes NSW's cases could begin to plateau soon. Source: ABC
Professor Tony Blakely believes NSW's outbreak could turn soon. Source: ABC

"As the vaccination coverage increases, it gets easier to control this virus."

"As the next 10,000 or 20,000 people get vaccinated or 100,000 people get vaccinated, it gets a little bit easier. So we just need to keep going."

NSW has been routinely administering more than 100,000 doses of vaccine a day, easily surpassing Premier Gladys Berejiklian's 6 million target by the end of August. 

As of Saturday, 35.8 per cent of the state's population was fully vaccinated, with 66 per cent receiving at least one dose.

In the last eight days alone, roughly 1 million jabs were administered, offering a sliver of hope to residents the end of the state's lockdown is nearer than once anticipated.

Prof Blakely said a lowering rate of increase in the past week was an indication the outbreak was beginning to slow. 

He warned however widespread vaccination was far from a panacea.

"They're far from perfect... so we're going to need to keep some form of social distancing, mask wearing and all those sorts of things in place."

Despite Prof Blakely's prediction, ABC data analyst Casey Briggs pointed out on Twitter on Sunday the test positivity rate exceeded 1 per cent for the first time in the outbreak.

Sydney residents are in week 10 of lockdown. Source: Getty
Sydney residents are in week 10 of lockdown. Source: Getty

Sydneysiders are just two weeks away from its first easing of its current restrictions when those with both vaccine doses will be able to meet in groups of five within 5km from their homes. 

Adults fully vaccinated in LGAs of concern will be able to have similar freedoms, which allow for activities such as picnics, however just with adults from the same home.

On Sunday Ms Berejiklian said regardless of case numbers, her government would "stick to our word" and give residents more freedom once 70 per cent of the population are double vaccinated.

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