Victoria recorded its second day of no new COVID-19 cases or deaths on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a top epidemiologist interviewed on Tuesday’s episode of The Project detailed how Victoria was able to tame its second wave of coronavirus – reportedly thanks to a significant overhaul of the state’s test and trace system.
Epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett said there’s “been a lot going on in the background to get to following up not just cases and contacts but their contacts well within the 48 hours.
Bennett listed improvements including “transforming the IT system” that manages virus response, and putting local community responses in place in regional areas.
“But also as our case numbers have come down they’ve done more work looking upstream, trying to work out these mystery cases and link them to other known clusters, doing blood tests and other ways beyond the normal kind of screening everybody.”
She said considering “context of contact” had been particularly important: “Not just going to a case and their immediate (contacts), but going to the next ring, hopefully getting to those people even if they’ve already been exposed and might be incubating the virus before they’re infectious, and that’s the key here.
Bennet said the final, critical factor had been “communication. And that’s where they’re really working now to bring in either a case manager or a dedicated team so that there is that one point of communication. Because going to contacts and their contacts when their status may change depending on other people’s results is complicated. That’s what they’re refining now, but all of that’s now well in place.”