New modelling suggests Greater Sydney lockdown could remain until September

It appears the people of Greater Sydney might be bunkering down for a while yet to curb the current COVID-19 outbreak, if some fresh research is to be taken seriously.

New modelling by the University of Melbourne shows that, in order to get the number of Sydney’s COVID-19 cases heading in a southbound direction, the current lockdown will need to continue until 4 September.

Now, this is assuming that the NSW government will call an end to the lockdown once the average number of new daily COVID cases drops below five, and that Stage 4 restrictions will remain in place until then.

According to ABC News, the University of Melbourne factored in uncertainties by running the modelling 10,000 times, and also took into account the Delta strain’s highly infectious nature.

The modelling found that, at the earliest, NSW could reach the daily average target of cases by 26 August. At the latest, the state would be looking at 16 September.

However, if NSW was to move to Stage 3 restrictions, case numbers wouldn’t drop until 21 September.

ABC News also noted that two other models produced in recent weeks by the Burnett Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and the University of Sydney also predict that the Greater Sydney lockdown will run through August.

Currently, the lockdown is slated to end on 30 July, but NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today conceded that she couldn’t guarantee that timeline, after the state recorded 110 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

NSW has also imposed a seven-day lockdown for three local government areas in the Central West region due to a COVID case detected in Orange.

Meanwhile, in other border news, states and territories have reacted to South Australia’s week-long lockdown announced yesterday.

Tasmania has closed its border to South Australia, Queensland has declared the state a COVID hotspot, the NT government has declared metropolitan Adelaide a COVID hotspot, and those heading from South Australia to Western Australia are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Featured image source: iStock/Viktoras Marininas