Covid Reinfections On The Rise As Health Experts Warn Pandemic Focus Needs To Shift

Covid Tracker: June 29

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As the number of Covid cases in Australia since the start of the pandemic tips over eight million, the focus is shifting to reinfection.

University of Adelaide epidemiologist, Professor Adrian Esterman remains reluctant to talk of a post-Covid era, particularly when cases and reinfections are on the rise.

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“It's not over and, furthermore, tomorrow there could be a new variant out that's more transmissible than [Omicron] BA.5,” Professor Esterman said, "We simply don't know yet".

"I keep hearing tales of people catching it within three or four weeks of recovering

"We really do not have a good handle on reinfections,” he warns.

Echoing the esteemed professor’s sentiment, Deakin University epidemiology chair Catherine Bennett said more research was needed with symptom severity varying in people who have been reinfected.

“Some people have experienced more severe infections on subsequent rounds. And that could be true for BA.5 anyway, because BA.5 has a better ability to bind to proteins in our lung lining”.

"We're also seeing within Omicron, particularly with these waves of subvariants, that there is an ongoing risk of continual reinfection, so you might have a short period where your immune system's boosted but then you get infected again,” she said.

However, one thing remains certain among experts, and that is that vaccination plays a key role in reducing severe illness.

"It's not whether you have an infection now or later. It's whether you have one infection or many infections," Professor Bennett said.

Meanwhile, Covid cases and hospitalisations across Australia and New Zealand look like this:

Western Australia 

  • New cases:5,921
  • Covid-related deaths: 4
  • Hospital and ICU admissions: 229 / 14

Northern Territory 

  • New cases: 334
  • Covid-related deaths: 0
  • Hospital and ICU admissions: 20 / 4

Australian Capital Territory 

  • New cases: 1,458   
  • Covid-related deaths: 0
  • Hospital and ICU admissions: 116 / 1


  • New cases: 5,366
  • Covid-related deaths: 20
  • Hospital and ICU admissions: 597 / 11

New South Wales 

  • New cases:11,067
  • Covid-related deaths: 11
  • Hospital and ICU admissions: 1,526 / 40


  • New cases: 10,777
  • Covid-related deaths: 23
  • Hospital and ICU admissions: 462 / 25

South Australia 

  • New cases: 2,847
  • Covid-related deaths: 0
  • Hospital and ICU admissions: 235 / 8


  • New cases: 1,174
  • Covid-related deaths: 1
  • Hospital and ICU admissions: 38 / 5

New Zealand 

  • New cases: 7,829
  • Covid-related deaths: 15
  • Hospital and ICU admissions: 395 / 8 

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Hit News Team

29 June 2022

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