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Coronavirus statistics | When will the lockdown end?

Crikey logo Crikey 14/04/2020 Hannah Kingston
a person talking on a cell phone: coronavirus centrelink unemployment rent strike mortgage © Provided by Crikey coronavirus centrelink unemployment rent strike mortgage

On Sunday, chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy expressed optimism that Australians will continue to flatten the curve if social distancing rules are observed, particularly this Easter weekend. The latest coronavirus statistics may help us to answer two popular questions that we find ourselves asking this week.

  1. Are we actually flattening the curve?
  2. When will coronavirus lockdown end?

Are we flattening the curve?

While the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to grow across Australia, the rate of growth has slowed.

Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around Australia

Here are the coronavirus statistics you need to know right now. 

  • 3,496 people have recovered from the virus to date
  • The current death toll of coronavirus is 62
a screenshot of a cell phone: Source: Australian Government | Department of Health © Provided by Crikey Source: Australian Government | Department of Health

When will the coronavirus lockdown end?

How long will the coronavirus lockdown last in Australia? It’s the question at the back of all of our minds. 

Here’s what we know:

  • The coronavirus lockdown may last for an average of 10 weeks, based on the only real example we have: Wuhan, China
  • To date, China is the only country that has taken hold of the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases in its population, with lockdown restrictions now being lifted and life reportedly returning to normal
  • Thirty-one provinces across China have been affected by coronavirus, with lockdowns ranging from four to 10 weeks. 

According to the federal government, there is a two-part formula for predicting a potential reduction in COVID-19 cases: 

  1. On average, it takes approximately seven days to see a change in the daily number of coronavirus cases. The seven-day period starts from day one of each individual correctly self-isolating
  2. Those who are carrying the virus but are nonsymptomatic require an extended period of time between recognising their symptoms, to getting tested and receiving their results. For individuals who are critically unwell, it takes approximately 11 days between diagnosis and treatment to see a potential daily reduction in coronavirus cases.

The spread of the coronavirus is slowing across Australia, and this is largely due to the travel restrictions and closure of non-essential business implemented by the federal and state governments.  

An end to the lockdowns will largely depend on Australians following guidelines as put forward by medical professionals and governments. While cases of COVID-19 may be slowing right now, there is concern around the possibility of local transmission, and public non-adherence to social distancing rules. 

The latest coronavirus statistics as cited above will determine when lockdown will end; if they continue to lower, life may slowly return to normal and lockdown restrictions may loosen. New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says current enforcement laws are set to expire this coming June, and as it stands, he will not seek to expand them. Health Minister Greg Hunt has reportedly said the lockdown, or some restrictions that are currently in place, could stand for at least six months.

With the majority of Australian states now in stage three lockdowns this week, it is only natural we are asking ourselves questions, such as:

  • When will I be able to return to work? 
  • When will restaurants, bars and hairdressers open once again?
  • When can I go to the supermarket without worry?

When will Australia’s coronavirus lockdown end? At this point, the answer is not clear. It took 10 weeks for the epicentre of the virus to reportedly recover, and that may be the number we need to use to manage our expectations. 

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