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Australia’s Omicron wave has likely peaked, experts say

The Omicron outbreak of Covid cases appears to have peaked in New South Wales, Victoria and other parts of Australia, epidemiologists believe.

Prof Adrian Esterman, an epidemiologist and biostatistician at the University of South Australia, said the Omicron wave had “absolutely certainly” peaked in NSW and Victoria.

The Reff – the effective reproduction number, which measures how many other people someone with Covid will infect, on average – had dropped below 1 in both states, Esterman said.

“We know that the peak has been reached when the Reff gets below 1.”

On Thursday, Esterman calculated the Reff to be 0.83 in NSW and 0.8 in Victoria.

“You can’t really interpret the daily cases very well because of huge fluctuations and large of numbers of rapid antigen tests coming through on a given day but being distributed over previous days,” Esterman said. “The Reff is still reasonably stable despite the daily fluctuation in case numbers.” 2

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