Surfers seen in the water during the Easter Long Weekend at Bronte Beach in Sydney, Sunday, April 12, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING
Surfers seen in the water during the Easter Long Weekend at Bronte Beach in Sydney, Sunday, April 12, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

Warning 'second wave' of infections is the 'real danger'

As the rate of new coronavirus infections continues to slow, officials and health experts are warning Australians can't afford to become complacent - and that the "real danger" is from a possible second wave of infections in winter.

Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said yesterday there was still a "huge risk" in lifting restrictions, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned "the worst is yet to come" and "we can't pretend it's over", while Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews acknowledged "it is very frustrating that we cannot give people an end date" but said the measures were saving lives.

There are more than 6300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia, with 2854 in New South Wales, 1268 in Victoria, 983 in Queensland, 429 in South Australia, 517 in Western Australia, 144 in Tasmania, 102 in the Australian Capital Territory and 28 in the Northern Territory.

The death toll now stands at 59.

Australia's 'unacceptable' virus approach

It may be the quickest way for life to return to normal for Aussies, but the Government says the cost of one virus approach would be "unacceptable".

Deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd says herd immunity is not something the Australian Government is considering in its fight against COVID-19.

The approach would involve allowing people to slowly get infected until about 60 per cent of the population had the coronavirus, at which point there would be "herd immunity". It's likely the quickest way for Aussies to return to normal life.

But, speaking on ABC News Radio Sunday, Professor Kidd said, "If we attempt herd immunity we would end up with a very large number of people severely unwell and a very large number of people would die so we're not going down a herd immunity approach in Australia."

It comes as chief medical officer Brendan Murphy says there is still a "huge risk" in lifting restrictions, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says "the worst is yet to come" and "we can't pretend it's over", while Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews acknowledges "it is very frustrating that we cannot give people an end date" but says the measures are saving lives.

And in Tasmania, two hospitals in the state's north-west have been closed and businesses shut for the next 14 days, in a desperate attempt to get a grip on the virus outbreak. 

There are more than 6300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia, with 2854 in New South Wales, 1268 in Victoria, 983 in Queensland, 429 in South Australia, 517 in Western Australia, 144 in Tasmania, 102 in the Australian Capital Territory and 28 in the Northern Territory.

The death toll now stands at 59.

Follow our live rolling coverage below.

Originally published as Australia's 'unacceptable' virus approach


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