South Australia records one COVID-linked death amid lowest daily caseload in weeks

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A man in his 70s is the latest person to die with COVID-19 in South Australia, which today reported 3,749 new cases — the lowest daily total in more than three weeks.

There are are currently 223 cases in hospital, including eight people in intensive care and one on ventilation.

The 3,749 new cases represent the lowest daily total since March 22.

While that number coincides with a dip in the number of people undergoing PCR testing, Australian Medical Association vice-president Chris Moy said it was further evidence that cases may have peaked.

“We appear to be on the decline in terms of the numbers — I think it does look like we’ve come off this last peak on the modelling, as predicted,” Dr Moy told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning.

“The numbers in hospital are holding.”

There are currently 32,105 active cases in South Australia, taking the total since the start of the pandemic to 347,014.

The state’s strict mask mandate was repealed yesterday in all but high-risk settings, but Dr Moy said people should still consider wearing them to help keep vulnerable people safe.

“There are a lot of still quite scared people out there who have immunosuppressed conditions or who are vulnerable for other reasons,” he said.

“It’s really a time to, I think, consider them … and also support them if they’re wearing masks, and certainly not ridicule them, and also consider wearing a mask yourself when you’re in an enclosed area with them.”

The Australian Medical Association's SA president Dr Chris Moy.
Dr Chris Moy said masks were still key to protecting people who are immunosuppressed.(ABC News: Claire Campbell)

Dr Moy said vaccinations — for both COVID and flu — are crucial to helping protect hospitals from being overrun ahead of winter.

He said global evidence suggested that herd immunity was now highly unlikely, and that vaccination efforts would continue to target emerging variants.

“There’s a lot of work in the world at the moment going to trying to find a pan-coronavirus vaccine, which will cover all the coronaviruses and knock them out,” Dr Moy said.

“It works, imagine like a soccer ball, with all the little hexagons, with all different types.

“When you get it, you’re exposed to a whole lot of different spike proteins, so hopefully these will be able to protect us from a whole multitude of coronaviruses, not just COVID.”

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Dr Norman Swan discusses the future trajectory of the virus

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