Thursday marks a COVID milestone of sorts for Australia – 12 months since our worst ever day of the coronavrius pandemic.

On 5 August 2020, Victoria authorities revealed the state’s daily COVID numbers with 725 new infections announced – a daily record that is yet to be beaten anywhere in Australia.

One year on, the country’s largest city is now in lockdown as Greater Sydney fights to get on top of an outbreak of the delta variant.

However, despite the similarities between the two outbreaks, ANU infectious Diseases Expert, Professor Peter Collignon, thinks Australia is in a much better position this time around.

“Because we have a lot more people vaccinated, last year we had nobody vaccinated because there were no vaccines available.”

Victoria’s second wave claimed the lives of more than 800 people, a situation Sydney has largely managed to avoid so far with only 17 deaths recorded amid ongoing high daily case numbers.

Professor Collignon said that’s mostly due to the priority vaccination of aged care residents.

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“Where most of the deaths occurred we’re in a much better position, however, we’re not where we’d like to be because we’d like to see if 70-80% of the adult population to be fully vaccinated and that will a few more months at least.”

Under the current restrictions, it’s hoped Sydney’s covid situation will greatly improve over the coming months but it’s Australia’s summer that’s tipped to be the biggest test of the pandemic yet.

“Because that’s when we’ll see what will happen in the Northern Hemisphere during their winter and winter is the time the virus is spread more readily.”

“We really won’t know where we’re at until after we see what happens in places that have lots of virus, the likes of US, Canada and Europe – we’ll have to see what happens when you’ve got a large proportion of the population vaccinated but you’ve still got a lot of virus.”

The ACT, alongside Tasmania, are the only two Australian state and territories that have managed to avoid a second outbreak of the virus with the Nation’s Capital last month marking one year since its last case of community transmission of the virus.

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