Shrinking COVID-19 cases mock Qld border closures


New data makes a mockery of the Queensland Government’s border closures.

While there have now been 7,150 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Australia, and the nation’s death toll stands at 103, the number of active cases has fallen to just 466, after falling by one-third over the past fortnight. This includes only 378 active cases in New South Wales and 61 in Victoria.

Meanwhile, people arriving in Australia from overseas account for 62.2% of the nation’s virus infections:

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tourism Minister Kate Jones have referred to the “hundreds” of community cases in NSW and Victoria as the key reason why the state’s borders remain closed.

But the number of active COVID-19 cases continues to decrease, falling by one-third in the past two weeks…

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has set the benchmark of two incubation periods, or 28 days, of no new community infections in NSW and Victoria before the borders are opened up.

But federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has conceded this would be near to impossible as the coronavirus is unlikely to be wiped out in Australia in the short term…

Assuming this data is correct, it would mean that NSW has around five active cases per 100,000 population, whereas VIC only has around one active case per 100,000 population.

Any objective cost-benefit analysis would conclude that the costs of keeping Queensland’s border shut outweighs the benefits, especially given Queensland’s tourism hotspots are experiencing mass unemployment:

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk risks electoral annihilation in October should her draconian border closures cause unnecessary mass unemployment.

Leith van Onselen
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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