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Coronavirus infections keep climbing – but what about the recovery rate?

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

There are strict rules as to what constitutes a recovery from the coronavirus and it can take weeks.

While the number of Australians diagnosed with coronavirus has topped 550, almost 50 people have recovered.

And while that may seem like a low figure, there are strict rules as to what constitutes a recovery.

In order to be counted as having officially recovered, a patient must have cleared the virus from their system, and be symptom-free.

How coronavirus cases have spread around the world since January.

As of today, there are 565 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia. Of those, six people have died and 46 have recovered.

But the Department of Health today told the total number of recovered patients was "likely an underrepresentation of the true number" due to the case load weighing on health jurisdictions across the country.

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Infectious Diseases professor Nigel McMillan from Griffith University said the number should also be considered in the context of how the disease behaves.

"Recovery is when someone is well and proven negative for the virus and this can take 14-plus days, so we are only looking at the recovery of folks from two weeks ago when we had just 59 cases," Professor McMillan told

"So 46 is good, 77 per cent. The missing 13 are either still unwell or not negative yet. 

"I don't feel there is any concern about it but I can see why folks might be worried looking at a mere 46 with our 600 cases."

People line up outside the Royal Melbourne Hosital for coronavirus testing in Melbourne, Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

According to an epidemiology report issued by the Department of Health last week, a study of cases in China found a "positive association between age and time from symptom onset to recovery", meaning older patients were taking longer to recover than younger patients.

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It also found that the more severe the case of the disease, the longer the recovery time.

Experts across the globe agree most people who contract COVID-19 will experience a mild case of the virus and recover easily, while a smaller number will get severely sick.

According to a John Hopkins University tracker, as of today 84,113 of a total 218,809 patients worldwide have recovered and 8,810 have died.

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Source: 9News

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