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The Elimination Strategy

Global COVID-19 cases hit 50 million; 1.25 million dead.

The rate is now over 600K new infections per day, and 9K dead per day.

On September 17 I pointed out that global cases of the coronavirus-19 pandemic had reached 30 million.

On August 10 we had hit 20,000,000 cases.

I noted in September that was an increase of 50% on those case numbers in just over a month.

Now it is increasing by 66% in under a month.

Another reminder. In Victoria, on August 7 our daily cases of COVID-19 (14-day average) was 459.8.

As of September 15, we were down to a daily case average of 49.6.

Now, of November 8, we've had eight consective days of zero new cases. Our 14-day average is 0.4 for Melbourne, and 0.0 for the regions.

Elimination as an objective works as a strategy.

I cannot agree with the Australian Prime Minister who (16/07/2020) argues "The best protection against the virus is to live with the virus, to live alongside the virus and to open up your economy."

If you "open up" it means that some people don't live with the virus. It means that some people are infected, with life-long maladies, and that some die.

I have asked my Federal MP, a graduate in economics and treasurer of the country, what is the dollar value of a Victorian life, or of a person infected. I have asked the same of my state member, Tim Smith (well known for his colourful views on the virus). Neither seem to be able to give an answer.

The best protection against the virus is to stop the spread, to treat those who are ill. And when the all-clear is given, then you can "open up and live *without* the virus".

And if it comes back, then rinse, wash, and repeat.

Because this *is* the normal. There is no vaccine, and whatever vaccines might be produced in the future will have only a 55-65% effectiveness; better than nothing. But not enough unless *everyone* takes it - and every year, as the virus mutates into new forms.

We have to aim to live without the virus and if it comes back to stop the spread.

We now have strong evidence now of what works, and what doesn't. The Victorian model works.

Apropos, I have been arguing for elimination as a strategy for a very long time now.

This is the journal article from the Victorian strategy team in the Medical Journal of Australia. Elimination as an explicit goal.