WA's coronavirus numbers to plateau for another month, peak medical body predicts – ABC News

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WA's peak medical body says the state is likely to see daily COVID numbers remain in the thousands for another month despite the Omicron outbreak peak appearing to have passed.
WA saw a rolling seven-day average of about 8,500 daily recorded cases to March 31.
This week that average was down to around 6,700 cases per day.
Australian Medical Association WA President Dr Mark Duncan-Smith said the state was now likely looking at a prolonged plateau.
"We're going to see case numbers on a rolling three-day-average somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 cases a day for up to even a month, before we start to see it tail off again," he said.
Earlier this week the state's Chief Health Officer said he believed daily case numbers had peaked on March 29 at 9,754 cases.
Dr Duncan-Smith warned while the Omicron outbreak's peak appeared to have passed, a big swathe of WA's population had not yet contracted COVID and people could not afford to relax just yet.
He also warned that another peak was possible.
An epidemiologist says Western Australia has passed its Omicron peak, but is warning against complacency.
Two months into the outbreak, only around ten per cent of the state's population — about 280,000  people — have tested positive to the virus.
Dr Duncan-Smith said even though the number of cases could be higher than what was recorded due to those in the community who remained undiagnosed, there were still a large number of people left.
"There's a lot of people out there still to get it," Dr Duncan-Smith said.
"I'd certainly urge people out there not to be complacent about boosters, also to look at that second shot for their children, to continue with personal hygiene and keep up with those restrictions."
The peak also failed to deliver the predicted hospitalisation rates above 400 beds a day as per the limited Omicron modelling the WA Government made available to the public.
In that scenario, bed numbers were expected to pass 200 around 45 days into the outbreak and soar to above 400 during the peak.
More than 200 beds were expected to remain occupied for 45 days in a row.
Instead, WA has seen hospital beds remain below 260 beds per day through the apparent peak.
Dr Duncan-Smith said hospitalisations were low because so many people had received a booster vaccine shot. 
"Boosted means that you're 98 per cent protected against severe Omicron disease," he said.
"So the message is if you're not boosted, go out and get it."
He said even though the numbers had fallen short of the government's conservative modelling, doctors and nurses were still doing it tough with the current hospitalisation rate.
Dr Duncan-Smith said despite a push from the business lobby to relax mask mandates, they remained an important public health measure as case numbers plateaued.
"Masks are a simple and really effective way to curtail the spread of COVID.
"The concept that not wearing masks is all of a sudden going to bring millions of people back into the CBD is just ludicrous.
"Australia has had a quantum change in the way that we do office work, and all businesses will be returning to a hybrid model.
"Not wearing masks is not going to bring those people back into the CBD."
The number of people who have died with COVID-19 in WA has now surpassed the 100 mark, after eight deaths were recorded in the latest reporting period. 
One person died in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, while the other seven deaths date back to March 19, bringing the state's total to 105. 
The deaths include two men in their 50s, a man in his 60s, a man in his 80s, a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 70s and two women in their 80s.
WA Health recorded 5,112 new COVID-19 cases up to 8pm on Saturday.
There are 220 people in hospital with the virus and seven in ICU.
Of the 5,112 new cases, 1,587 were detected by a PCR test and the remaining 3,525 were self-reported positive rapid antigen tests.
There are currently 40,821 active cases in WA.
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