Coron@virus in Australia by the Numbers
By Luke Massey
Notes: The data below is generally current as at 7 September 2021 however there may be some minor discrepancies due to jurisdictional reporting methods and timeframes etc. A key source of information for this article is the Australian Government Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) case numbers and statistics website, which is updated daily and presents the statistics as a snapshot at a particular point in time. Information from this source used in this article was taken from 7 September 2021. For comparison purposes some reported and referenced raw data has been extrapolated to calculate averages and percentages.
Australia has a population of approximately 25,806,000.
The average life expectancy in Australia is 82.8.
As at October 2020 the average age of death from Covid in Australia was approximately 85 and the median age at death approximately 86.
The overall case fatality rate (CFR) for Covid in Australia is approximately1.6% (1053 out of 63,604) (as at 7 September 2021). This is very similar to the CFR in other developed countries including the USA, UK, France and Spain.
More than 75% (47,897 out of 63,604) of persons diagnosed with Covid in Australia (as at 7 September 2021) are under 50
As at 7 September 2021 the CFR for Covid in Australians aged under 50 is <0.034% (16 out of 47,897). This can also be expressed as approximately 4 out of every 12,000 cases.
From 1 January to 1 August 2021 the hospital admission rate of Covid cases in Australians aged under 50 was approximately 7.2% (287 out of 3973). Of these, 39 cases were admitted to ICU equating to an ICU admission rate of 0.98% (39 out of 3973) in the under 50 age group
The majority of Covid cases recover without clinical intervention. The severity of disease and CFR generally increase according to increasing age, i.e. the older you are the more seriously it is likely to affect you.
The majority of deaths in Australia overall, like other developed countries, occur among older people. Sixty-six per cent of deaths registered in Australia in 2019 were among people aged 75 or over.
Approximately 66% (700 out of 1053) of Covid deaths in Australia (as at 7 September 2021) have occurred in aged care.
Out of 894 cases of people aged over 90 who have tested positive to Covid, 557 have survived (as at 7 September 2021). This means that even those aged over 90 have a statistical chance of over 60% of overcoming Covid.
Outside of aged care the overall CFR for Covid in Australia (as at 7 September 2021) is approx 0.57% (353 deaths out of 61,630 cases). If you are not an aged care resident you have a greater than 99% chance of surviving Covid.
There have been no deaths recorded in Queensland in Covid positive patients aged under 60 out of 1,598 cases (as at 8 September 2021). The average age of death from Covid in Qld is 78.
Approximately 73% of people who have died from Covid in Australia had pre-existing chronic conditions certified on the death certificate. Approximately 87% of all deaths due to COVID-19 have other conditions listed on the death certificate.
In 2021 there have been 35,179 positive Covid cases in Australia. There have been 144 recorded deaths in Covid positive patients. This equates to a case fatality rate in Australia in 2021 of 0.41%.
As at 7 September 2021, the current hospitalisation rate for Covid cases in Australia is 4.6% (1278 out of 27,797). The current ICU admission rate of Covid cases in Australia is 0.8% (220 out of 27,797).
In 2018 (the most recent information available) there were approximately 96,000 hospital beds and in 2020 2,378 ICU beds (baseline capacity prior to surge capacity) in Australia. Currently, 1278 Covid cases account for 1.33% of that hospital bed capacity and 9.25% of ICU baseline capacity (not including surge capacity added since the advent of Covid) in Australia.
Since the start of the ‘Delta wave’ in Australia on roughly 1 July 2021, there have been 32,920 Covid cases and 144 deaths. This equates to a CFR of 0.44%. This is significantly lower than the overall Covid CFR of 2.97% prior to the ‘Delta wave’, demonstrating that although it is more infectious it is far less deadly.
Much has been reported on the ‘Delta wave’ being a greater threat to younger people when compared to the initial Covid strain. From 30 June 2021 to 7 September 2021 the number of positive Covid cases recorded in the under 20 age category has more than tripled (from 4,209 to 14,252). However, there has been only one death recorded as due to Covid in this age group, although this has been denied by the hospital, who stated that Covid was not the cause of death.
From 16 March 2020 to 3 January 2021 there were 38 Covid cases under 18 years old admitted to hospital. From 1 January to 1 August 2021 there were 33 Covid cases under the age of 20 admitted to hospital. This equates to a hospital admission rate of 2.72% in that age group, about half of the overall hospital admission rate. Of these, four cases were admitted to ICU equating to an ICU admission rate of 0.33% in that age group, less than half of the overall ICU admission rate.
Covid vaccination information
In Australia eight people are confirmed to have died due to adverse reactions from the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. As at 20 August 2021 there had also been 272 other reported deaths following receipt of AstraZeneca.
As of 2 September 2021, there had been 36 people treated in ICU for confirmed thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome following receipt of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
There have been 125 confirmed and probable cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS) as a result of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 99 reports of Guillain-Barre Syndrome following the AstraZeneca vaccine. To 29 August 2021, the TGA has received 61 reports of suspected Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) following vaccination with the Astrazeneca vaccine that could be linked to vaccination and no other obvious cause was identified.
As at 20 August 2021, there had been 176 reported deaths following receipt of the Pfizer vaccine.
To 29 August 2021, 293 cases of suspected myocarditis and/or pericarditis following the Pfizer vaccination have been reported to the TGA.
The World Health Organisation states that most people diagnosed with Covid have mild to moderate symptoms and recover without medical treatment. The WHO lists common symptoms of Covid as fever, dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains, sore throat and headaches.
As at 29 August 2021 there were more than 55,000 adverse events following Covid vaccinations. Very common side effects from the Covid vaccine are similar to those experienced by symptomatic Covid cases including tiredness, headache, muscle pain, fever and chills, joint pain and nausea. Similarly to Covid positive cases, most people who have an adverse reaction to the Covid vaccine recover without medical treatment.
The Commonwealth Government has invested over $5 billion dollars of tax payer money into 5 separate agreements to secure more than 195 million doses of Covid vaccines. This is enough for every single Australian regardless of age to be fully vaccinated (receive two doses) 3.75 times.
Each Covid test performed by private providers/health facilities is subsidised through Medicare to the amount of $85.Each Covid test performed through the public health system is subsidised through Medicare to the amount of $42.50.
As of 8 September 2021, there had been 33,227,789 Covid tests performed in Australia. Only 0.19% of these have been positive.
In NSW this testing was performed at a rate of roughly 60% private and 40% public. Extrapolating the data on a national basis and estimated at a rate of an even 50% split between private and public testing, it appears that over $2 billion dollars of taxpayer money has been spent by the Federal Government on Covid testing.
As of 8 September 2021, there had been 4,101,241 Covid tests performed in Qld. Again based on an estimated even split of 50% private and 50% public testing it is estimated that the Medicare bill for Covid testing in Queensland has amounted to over $250,000,000.
Some comparisons with influenza
In Australia in 2019 there were over 300,000 cases of influenza, approximately 4000 hospitalisations and over 800 deaths. There were no restrictions or lockdowns.
In 2017 in Queensland there were 264 confirmed deaths from influenza, with 58,616 lab-confirmed cases of the disease officially recorded. This equates to a CFR of 0.47%. The number of deaths attributed to influenza in Queensland in 2017 is 37 times the number of deaths from Covid in Queensland since the beginning of the pandemic. However, there were no restrictions or lockdowns.
In 2019 in Queensland there were again 264 confirmed deaths from influenza, with 68,148 lab-confirmed cases of the disease officially recorded. This equates to a CFR of 0.38%. The number of deaths attributed to influenza in Queensland in 2019 is 37 times the number of deaths from Covid in Queensland since the beginning of the pandemic. However, there were no restrictions or lockdowns.
In Qld in 2020 there were 6047 confirmed cases of influenza. 309 were admitted to hospital and 28 of these were admitted to ICU. There were 20 confirmed deaths due to influenza, more than 3 times the number of Covid related deaths.
Queensland specific Covid information
In Queensland in 2021 there have been 729 confirmed cases of Covid. One of these has been fatal. This equates to a 2021 CFR in Qld of 0.14%.
In Queensland since the beginning of the pandemic there have been 1991 confirmed cases of covid, 7 of which have been fatal. This equates to a CFR of 0.35% which is less than the CFR of influenza in Queensland in both 2017 and 2019. However, there have been significant restrictions imposed on all Queenslanders including the vast majority of whom were healthy.
In Queensland in 2021 the highest number of Covid patients hospitalised at any one time is 82. (It is important to note that in Queensland all Covid cases are hospitalised, regardless of the severity of illness). There are approximately 19,270 hospital beds in Queensland (based on an estimated population of 5,195,000 as at 31 December 2020 and a rate of 3.71 beds per 1000 people).
In Queensland in 2021 the highest number of Covid patients admitted to ICU at any one time is three. There were approximately 413 ICU beds (baseline capacity) in Queensland as at 2018.
National statistics on deaths
In Australia there were 58,515 deaths that occurred between January and May 2021 and were registered by 31 July (including 5,043 deaths from respiratory disease).This is 3,475 deaths (6.3%) more than the 2015-19 average and comparable to 2020. Only one of these deaths was due to Covid.
For the month of May, there were 12,973 deaths (including 1,202 deaths due to respiratory diseases), which is 7.6% more deaths than average, and 5.3% more than in 2020. None of these deaths were due to Covid.
From 1 January to 31 July 2020, there were 32,398 deaths in residential aged care in Australia, compared with 33,383 at the same point in 2019.
Covid has had an extremely negligible impact on the overall average number of deaths in Australia and the average age at death.
According to ABS data in the 5 year period from 2015-2019, there were 806,259 deaths recorded in Australia. This equates to a yearly average of 161,251 deaths. There were 116,345 deaths registered by doctors between January 1 and October 27, 2020, compared with the 2015-19 average of 117,484.
In 2020 there were 141,116 deaths recorded in Australia. 909 (0.64%) of these were Covid related.
A multitude of illnesses, disease and injuries are prevalent in our community. These include many which are directly linked to activities which we are completely free to pursue such as drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, consuming significant amounts of unhealthy foods, sunbaking, playing contact or extreme sports. These are personal decisions made with knowledge and acceptance of risk.
Covid is a virus that poses risks specifically to the elderly and those with existing comorbidities, and extremely negligible risk to those below 50. The vast majority of those who have died from Covid in Australia are over 80 years old and have pre-existing illnesses.
All Australians should be free to make an informed decision (with the knowledge that there is a real risk of an adverse outcome leading to death or serious injury) whether or not to receive a Covid vaccination without coercion or the real threat of being stripped of their job and ability to earn a livelihood for themselves and their families.
Those who support mandatory Covid vaccinations argue that the chances of a severe reaction are very rare and they are correct. However, it must be remembered that these adverse reactions are not some fanciful conspiracy theory and by ‘coming into contact’ with the vaccine you are exposing yourself to that risk. Those who choose not to receive the vaccine and who practice sensible everyday hygiene are not certain to ‘come into contact’ with Covid, and therefore not certain to be exposed to a real risk of contracting the virus, let alone a real risk of serious illness or death.
Sensible precautions should be directed towards minimising the risks to those in the at-risk categories. If others outside of those at-risk categories also wish to engage in the same precautions then they should be free to do so. Otherwise, Australians should be free to go about their lives without the significant burden of extreme wide-ranging restrictions.