The Covid modelling determining Western Australia’s reopening plan has come under fire, with many claiming the figures don’t add up.
Social media sleuths have poked holes in Western Australia’s Covid road map just hours after it was released.
Premier Mark McGowan announced the plan on Friday which detailed the continuation of the state’s hard border until 90 per cent of those aged over 12 are vaccinated against Covid – a target rate much higher than any other part of Australia.
With WA currently sitting at less than 65 per cent fully vaccinated, the target is forecast to be met in late January or early February.
During the address, the premier said the slow road to reopening was because he wanted to “save lives”. He referenced modelling that showed if that state opened at 80 per cent, rather than 90, there would be 200 more deaths.
There was also mention of the state possibly facing 100,000 cases in a year, which sparked immediate scepticism on social media.
“Victoria has had 94k cases the entire pandemic, 10s of thousands of which occurred before the vaccine. There is no way the modelling saying 100k cases in a year at 80 per cent for WA is correct. Not to mention they would be opening from zero cases,” one user wrote.
“100k annually is about 4.5 per cent of the population infected at some point, I don’t think that’s an incredibly wild estimate, but the point is the vast majority of those cases would be asymptomatic,” a woman replied to the thread.
The data was also quizzed by ABC journalist and mathmatician Casey Briggs, who took issue with the modelling’s death predictions.
“Genuine question: how could it be that the WA Health model projects more deaths than ICU admissions over a year at 90 per cent vaccination rate?’ he tweeted.
The border closures have infuriated some to the point of legal action with Flight Centre considering a High Court legal challenge on the scheme.
“We haven’t made a decision on it yet but we’ll have a good look over the weekend and see if we go ahead with it,” Flight Centre chief executive Graham Turner told The Australian.
The Human Rights Watch also blasted the decision.
“It is no longer proportionate for the West Australian government to make it so difficult for compassionate cases to enter the state. If individuals are double vaccinated and are willing to undergo quarantine they should not be denied entry,” it said.
Currently, only 63.7 per cent of West Australians are fully vaccinated, and 79.3 per cent have had one dose.
Mr McGowan said the border decision came after “extensive modelling”.
“That modelling, which assumes a realistic or medium level of testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine, known as TTIQ, suggests there are undeniable benefits in waiting until our double-dose vaccination rate hits 90 per cent,” he said.