Remarks: A major error has been discovered in the COVID-19 modelling used by the Federal Government to send Australia into a tough lockdown. When the modelling was released, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy branded it a “horrendous scenario”. “A daily demand for new intensive care beds of 35,000 plus,” he said. FULL STORY HERE: https://www.4cmitv.com/2020/09/11/2020-sep-11-major-error-in-covid-modelling-that-informed-australian-gov-covid-lockdown-why-are-we-not-surprised/
A major error has been uncovered in the COVID-19 modelling used by the Federal Government to inform Australia’s tough lockdown restrictions.
Modelling released by Melbourne’s Peter Doherty Institute earlier this year showed grim predictions of the impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on Australia if no measures were taken to suppress it.
But The Daily Telegraph has revealed an error in the modelling meant the number of people that would need ICU beds was dramatically over-estimated, making the potential impacts of the pandemic appear much worse.
When the modelling was released, chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said it is a:
“A daily demand for new intensive care beds of 35,000 plus”
Professor Murphy warned Australians this ICU capacity was
“completely beyond the realm of any country to create”.
This modelling was then used by the Federal Government to inform the public health response to the coronavirus, which resulted in borders being closed, businesses shut down and harsh restrictions placed on gatherings and reasons people could leave their homes.
But an error in the modelling meant the data for the estimated number of hospitalisations was instead shown as the amount of people who would need intensive care.
Emma McBryde, professor of infectious diseases modelling at James Cook University, told The Daily Telegraph her team in Queensland discovered the mistake shortly after it was published in April.
Professor Emma McBryde team contacted the Doherty Institute and notified them of the error and were told it would be fixed.
In May, Liberal Senator James Paterson questioned Professor Murphy on the modelling, pointing out the reality of Australia’s COVID-19 fight was no where near even the best case scenario outlined in the modelling.
“On the basis of that modelling, governments envisaged that we would have quite serious restrictions … for up to six months,” he said.
“Happily that now doesn’t appear to be the case. We’re now only two months in and they’re being eased. So policy was predicated on (a) six month restriction scenario is obviously going to be quite out of step for what ends up being a two month scenario, isn’t it?”
Professor Murphy claimed the modelling was never a “real world” scenario and was signed to allow the government to implement a series of restrictions that would lessen the impacts of an unmitigated outbreak.
“The modelling was never real world, it was designed to give us a sense of what we had to do to have a health system that was not going to be overwhelmed,” he said.
Professor Murphy said the advice taken from the modelling was aimed at ensuring Australia’s health system wasn’t overwhelmed like other systems around the world had been.
“That was really the purpose of that modelling – we wanted to reassure governments collectively that we had the tools in our kit bag to manage down to within the health system capacity,” he said.
Professor Murphy said he had “no doubt” the Federal Government did the right thing by imposing restrictions.
“Those countries that imposed restrictions late have had terrible devastation as they bring the pandemic under control and they still have not suppressed anywhere near the level we have,” he said.
“So moving early was clearly the right thing to do, I’m in absolutely no doubt about that.”
ORIGINAL SOURCE: Date-stamped: 2020 SEP 10 | Time-stamped: 10:27 AM | Author: Ally Foster @allyjfoster | Article Title: Coronavirus Australia: Mistake in COVID modelling that informed lockdown | Article Link: news.com.au
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Tags: 4cminewswire, Federal Government, Peter Doherty Institute, Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, Emma McBryde, COVID-19, Coronavirus, 4cminews, 4CMiTV, #4CM2020SEP11
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