Confirmed cases in Australia notified up to 26 April 2020: notifications = 6,711; deaths = 77. The reduction in international travel and domestic movement, social distancing measures and public health action have likely slowed the spread of COVID-19 in Australia. Notifications in Australia remain predominantly among people with recent overseas travel, with some locally-acquired cases being detected. Most locally-acquired cases can be linked back to a confirmed case, with a small portion unable to be epidemiologically linked to another case. The ratio of overseas-acquired cases to locally-acquired cases varies by jurisdiction. The crude case fatality rate (CFR) in Australia remains low (1.1%) compared to the World Health Organization's globally-reported rate (6.9%) and to other comparable high-income countries such as the United States of America (5.1%) and the United Kingdom (13.7%). The lower CFR in Australia is likely reflective of high case ascertainment including detection of mild cases. High case ascertainment and prompt identification of contacts enables an effective public health response and a reduction of disease transmission. Internationally, cases continue to increase. The rates of increase have started to slow in several regions, although it is too soon to tell whether this trend will be sustained. Interpretation of international epidemiology should be conducted with caution as it differs from country to country depending not only on the disease dynamics, but also on differences in case detection, testing and implemented public health measures.
Keywords: 2019-nCoV; Australia; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; acute respiratory disease; coronavirus disease 2019; epidemiology; novel coronavirus.
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