Australia’s two remaining problem states
There are just two states causing a problem in Australia's fight against coronavirus.
NSW and Tasmania are this only two states with case numbers high enough to warrant an important graph used by health authorities to track the spread of the deadly infection.
Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy showed the graph in a press conference this afternoon, highlighting each state's "Effective Reproduction Rate Number".
The reproduction number is used to reflect how infectious a disease is and measures the average number of secondary infections caused by a single case.
"The case numbers in every other jurisdiction are so small that the modellers feel that they can't usefully use the Effective Reproduction Number," Prof Murphy said.
"Only in New South Wales and Tasmania are there enough numbers to show an effective reproduction number.
"And even then, they're pretty much at the lower limit of what you would expect … Tasmania is comfortably now below the 1 benchmark, as they have so expertly brought the North West Tasmania outbreak under control."
A "1 benchmark" means one person infects less than one other on average.
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Prof Murphy said Tasmania needed to be congratulated for complying with what was a "very burdensome but necessary" public health intervention.
He said Australia had "pretty convincingly" flattened the curve.
"You can see that our numbers of cases each day continue to be pretty flat," he said.
He highlighted how we were recording fewer cases than predicted.
"So we're doing better than the modelling would have predicted from the previous data," he said.
Prof Murphy said case numbers in Australia were now so low "that we can examine each case, each cluster, and get really detailed epidemiological information on what's happening".
"And so we can get a feeling at whether there is a cluster that's breaking out and that we need to control," he said.
He said if we were going to get on top of those small outbreaks we needed to have more people tested.
South Australia, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory have all been able to get the virus under control, either recording no new cases consecutively or having no active cases altogether.
SA has even been described as one of the "safest places in the world", recording no new infections for a week.
Yesterday the ACT was declared the first jurisdiction coronavirus-free with no active cases.
The jurisdictions have all credited increased testing and tough border measures in their success.
Originally published as Australia's two remaining problem states