Modelling predicts Western Australia’s COVID-19 cases will keep falling as state enters home stretch of Omicron outbreak

Western Australia has officially recorded more than 700,000 COVID-19 cases in the past five months.

But modeling by the Telethon Kids Institute and Curtin University suggests the true figure might be closer to 850,000 due to asymptomatic cases and some people who failed to get tested or report their results.

The research team has forecast Western Australia’s Omicron outbreak will infect 1.2 million people by the time it has worked its way through the state.

Associate Professor Ewan Cameron said Western Australia was 72 percent, or about three-quarters, of the way there.

A head shot of Ewan Cameron who has blonde hair and blue eyes
Dr Ewan Cameron says case numbers went above what the modeling initially predicted. (supplied)

Dr Cameron is also confident WA is past its peak and will not reach the 25,000 daily cases the Chief Health Officer had previously warned of.

But he said the peak of 17,105 recorded on May 19 was higher than expected.

People wear masks pictured through the doors of a train
West Australian case numbers went higher than what researchers predicted when the mask mandate was removed.

“The biggest surprise to us was that the case numbers did go significantly above where we thought they would go upon the mask mandate being removed,” Dr Cameron said.

“That was a surprise, as far as having perhaps underestimated the amount of mixing that would have taken place.

“We saw increased mixing and socialization after masks were removed, as well as workplace attendance.”

“But the fact that cases have dropped down now, since the last two weeks of very high case numbers, suggests the epidemic curve is essentially playing out as expected.”

Yesterday’s 9,948 new cases was the lowest daily figure WA has recorded in nearly three weeks and a 35 per cent drop on the previous Friday.

Today the number was even lower with 8,665 new cases.

The number of West Australians in isolation is also falling.

On Sunday there were more than 90,000 active cases in the state, but there are now fewer than 70,000.

Daily cases of COVID are expected to continue falling in WA, but not as quickly as in recent days, with the decline expected to slow to about 10 per cent each week.

The state is expected to see more than 1,000 daily cases until mid-July.


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