Researchers from the University of Sydney say strict social distancing could see the nation begin to gain control over the disease in a matter of weeks.
The peak of Australia's coronavirus pandemic could be just a week away, according to new modelling by the University of Sydney.
Using a peer-reviewed simulator, researchers estimated that if 90 per cent of the population adopted social distancing measures, the peak of active COVID-19 cases would occur in mid-April.
That amounts to a total of 8000 to 10,000 total Australian cases over the course of the pandemic.
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Professor Mikhail Prokopenko, who led the research, said we are "very close" to reaching the peak.
"The model updated with most recent data shows that Australia is very close to the incidence peak, and in two weeks' time may be approaching the prevalence peak," Prof. Prokopenko said.
"What this means is that the number of new daily cases will begin to steadily reduce from now on. The number of all "active" cases may keep rising until mid-April, and then start to slowly decline."
Prof. Prokopenko said the modelling showed social distancing measures worked best when they were adopted rapidly and readily.
"We mustn't be complacent – the best outcome is a short-term pain, long-term gain scenario," he said.
"Even a three-day delay in adopting strong social distancing measures (around 90 percent) would cost us a three-week lengthening of the suppression period, meaning we would have to comply with social distancing for longer."
The researchers used what is known as an "AceMod" simulator, which uses over 24 million software agents that each have the attribute of an individual such as age, gender, occupation, susceptibility and immunity to diseases.
Social distancing as used in the model is harsh: for example, 80 per cent social distancing could mean any one person in a household going out once in five days or one member per family of five going out daily while the other four stay at home.
Despite the optimistic data, the researchers said it was possible that we could see a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
"Of course, a rebound in the incidence and prevalence after the suppression period is possible, but it is not unavoidable," Prof. Prokopenko.
"By July, more efficient and larger-scale testing methods are expected to be available.
"This, coupled with continued international travel restrictions, may very well be sufficient to prevent a resurgence of the disease."
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Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-pandemic-australian-peak-could-be-just-one-week-away-research/cac7e420-6083-4826-a34d-a8689885433a