Friday, May 1, 2020

Covid19 Fail: models vs reality

On April 7 the Federal government released its epidemiological modelling of the Covid19 outbreak in Australia. The models were used to justify strict quarantine and isolation measures enforced by Federal and State governments that will see Australia experience its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. ABC has thus far failed to provide any meaningful coverage of the models and their failure to match reality.

The rationale behind the government's "flatten the curve" strategy was to enforce strict physical distancing measures to ensure enough ICU beds were available to handle the caseload.

Under the government's model peak ICU demand with strict Level 3-4 Quarantine + isolation + social distancing measures in place was predicted to occur in week 43 (see graph below) which would be well into November with nearly 5000 ICU beds required, about double our capacity.

It seems reality played out quite differently.

The first case of Covid19 was reported in Australia on 25 January and around 14 weeks later it seems the "curve" has been well and truly flattened with only a handful of cases now reported daily.  We never reached more than 5% of ICU bed capacity with maximum daily use being around 100 beds way back in week 10 prior to the effect of level 3-4 measures being felt and the release of the Government's epidemiological modelling. The pandemic for us is well and truly over and we now face the social and economic consequences of a completely disproportionate response. Handling of the Covid19 pandemic by Australian Governments at all levels has been perhaps the worst example of Risk Management in history.

The ABC costs us well over $1 billion annually, we could fund 15000 nurses for that figure, yet somehow it lacks the integrity to take the government to task over models that were effectively disproven on the day they were released.

Data sources:
ICU bed use from April 5 via Dep Health infographic series 

Total number of ICU beds:

More model fails:



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