After almost two years the coronavirus pandemic in Australia is about to come to an end, according to the former Deputy Chief Health Officer.
Cases in NSW, Victoria and Queensland continue to rise. On Monday, Victoria recorded its highest ever daily total of Covid-19 cases with more than 8,500 while NSW has again eclipsed 20,000.
But Dr Nick Coatsworth told 2GB on Monday he believes the pandemic will become endemic in 2022. For example, chickenpox is an endemic infection in most countries.
"Covid will circulate in the community, in fact it's circulating already on the eastern seaboard so to an extent we're already there."
Dr Coatsworth said “there was never going to be a convenient time” for states to experience high case numbers.
“ICU, I suspect, will no longer be a bottleneck,” he told 2GB.
Dr Coatsworth referred to Farr’s Law of Epidemics. It’s a theory that epidemic events rise and fall in a bell-shaped curve.
“They all follow a curve,” he said.
“What will happen is the susceptible population will become infected with Covid-19, added to that some restrictions, people taking personal responsibility, staying at home and that’s going to bend the curve.”
He predicts this will occur by February.
Dr Coatsworth wrote in an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald it has also been helped by the fact Omicron is a milder form of the virus.
“In light of our community success, the evolution of the virus to a milder form and effective new treatments, the time for mandates and whole-of-community restrictions is therefore over,” he wrote.
“The case for fear of Covid-19 is now restricted largely to the social media platform of Twitter.”
Dr Julian Tang, professor of Respiratory Sciences at Leicester University, told The Guardian he predicts the virus “will evolve itself out of the pandemic strain very soon” and only the most vulnerable members of the population will need vaccinations.
If numbers do eventually drop in a bell-shaped curve then infections could decrease just as fast as they increased.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said in December it was predicted the state could have more than 25,000 new infections each day by the end of January.
Since that press conference on December 15, NSW has had three days where cases have gone over 20,000. All of these days were within the last week.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.