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Down but not out: Get set for another Covid wave in three months

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The current wave of Covid-19 has peaked in Queensland as the number of patients in hospital with the virus drops weeks earlier than expected.

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Health authorities had warned of a total hospital caseload of around 1660 in late August, but Chief Health Officer John Gerrard says the state hit a peak of 1123 on July 26.

“We believe this fantastic result is because Queenslanders have responded to national advice,” Gerrard said on Monday.

The latest figures show 667 patients with the virus in Queensland hospitals, a drop of about 48 per cent compared to the high of July 26.

Active case numbers, calculated by the amount of people who have tested positive in the past week, have also dropped substantially.

Fewer than 35,500 people are currently recorded as having the virus in the state, compared to more than 66,500 at the peak.

Pressure on the state’s hospitals is beginning to ease with just over 1300 health staff reporting an infection, a drop of 45 per cent compared to the 2365 reported on July 26.

The use of antiviral treatments also skyrocketed in the five-week period to July 24, jumping from 800 prescriptions per week to 6467.

While the numbers are good news, the chief health officer warned the wave is not yet over and people should continue following medical advice.

Based on global trends, Gerrard said Queensland could expect another rise in infections about three months after the end of the current wave.

“It is likely there will be a further wave this year … probably towards the end of the year,” he said, adding the “hope and expectation” is that subsequent waves will decrease in severity.

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