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When an infectious diseases expert thinks Stage 4 lockdown should be eased

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A leading infectious diseases expert has revealed when he thinks Melbourne’s Stage 4 lockdown should be eased, but says he expects Victoria will go in and out of lockdown until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available.

Professor of infectious diseases at the ANU’s Medical School, Professor Peter Collignon, who is also on the board advising the federal government on the pandemic, says while he expects there will be future lockdowns they may not be severe.

“The lockdown may be that you close bars, or you allow no more than four people at a table at a restaurant … It doesn’t mean you completely close down,” he told Neil Mitchell.

Professor Collignon revealed the number of daily cases he thinks Melbourne must reach before it will be safe to ease Stage 4 restrictions.

He says Victoria must get down to 10 or 20 new cases per day “before you think about dropping anything majorly”.

“It may well be that once numbers look like there’s a trend that’s continuing you can go back at least one level to the previous level of lockdown,” he said.

In positive news, Professor Collignon says Victoria appears to have passed its COVID-19 peak.

“When we look at what we call the five day moving average, I think actually you probably have turned in Melbourne and Victoria,” he said.

“It’s not falling very fast but it is falling … that fall should continue.”

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