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Australia is primed to win the war against the pandemic and upcoming winter flu season due to high vaccination levels and continual use of face masks in public.

That is the opinion of leading health expert James Wood, a biostatistics associate professor at UNSW.

Professor Wood also believes the number of Covid deaths from the Delta and Omicron strain of the virus will match one of Australia’s worst ever flu seasons, the influenza outbreak in 2017.

Deaths across the two variant waves are projected to be about 4000 by June, according to projections by the Seattle-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the Australian Financial Review reports. 

This compares to the 3800 deaths for the 2017 winter when Australia recorded its highest ever number of flu infections. 

Australia is primed to win the war against the pandemic and upcoming winter flu season due to high vaccination levels and continual use of face masks in public (pictured, a woman receiving a vaccine in Melbourne recently)

Australia is primed to win the war against the pandemic and upcoming winter flu season due to high vaccination levels and continual use of face masks in public (pictured, a woman receiving a vaccine in Melbourne recently)

Australia is primed to win the war against the pandemic and upcoming winter flu season due to high vaccination levels and continual use of face masks in public (pictured, a woman receiving a vaccine in Melbourne recently)

Professor James Wood, a biostatistics associate professor at UNSW, also believes the number of Covid deaths from the Delta and Omicron strain of the virus will match one of Australia's worst ever flu seasons, the influenza outbreak in 2017 this winter

Professor James Wood, a biostatistics associate professor at UNSW, also believes the number of Covid deaths from the Delta and Omicron strain of the virus will match one of Australia's worst ever flu seasons, the influenza outbreak in 2017 this winter

Professor James Wood, a biostatistics associate professor at UNSW, also believes the number of Covid deaths from the Delta and Omicron strain of the virus will match one of Australia’s worst ever flu seasons, the influenza outbreak in 2017 this winter

Deaths across the two variant Covid waves in Australia are projected to be about 4000 by June, according to projections by the Seattle-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) (pictured, a woman wearing a face mask in Sydney)

Deaths across the two variant Covid waves in Australia are projected to be about 4000 by June, according to projections by the Seattle-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) (pictured, a woman wearing a face mask in Sydney)

Deaths across the two variant Covid waves in Australia are projected to be about 4000 by June, according to projections by the Seattle-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) (pictured, a woman wearing a face mask in Sydney)

Professor Wood added it is important to note flu statistics are not always accurately reported, with statistical models a better gauge to identify the true impact.

‘Many people when they have the flu just stay at home and recover,’ he said.

‘But that might then lead to pneumonia. Or alternatively, it could be the high fever and the stress on your body could lead to a heart attack. These people won’t end up being recorded in the system as being flu-related.’ 

Professor Wood went onto state high vaccination rates and quality hospital care has resulted in fewer people dying. 

He added that strong future variants are key and that it will be ‘interesting’ to see what causes the bigger problem in Australia this winter – Covid or the flu.

Flu numbers will rise after they have been virtually non-existent the past two years due to interstate borders being closed. 

Professor Wood’s numbers forecast comes as mixed messaging continues to frustrate countless Australians living through the pandemic.

Some patients are being left to die alone in hospitals because of ‘inhumane’ policies, while sporting stadiums and concerts are packed with fans.

Families in NSW have been forced to apply for visitation exemptions that can take up to seven hours to approve to see their dying relatives – sometimes coming all too late.

Joanna La Macchia was not allowed to see her father Antonio Coluccio, 71, after he was admitted to Royal Prince Alfred with Covid-19 in early January.

Even people who are fully vaccinated are being stopped from seeing dying family members in hospital (pictured, a woman getting a Covid-19 vaccination shot)

Even people who are fully vaccinated are being stopped from seeing dying family members in hospital (pictured, a woman getting a Covid-19 vaccination shot)

Even people who are fully vaccinated are being stopped from seeing dying family members in hospital (pictured, a woman getting a Covid-19 vaccination shot)

Though people are being stopped from seeing their dying loved ones, events such as the Ashes series between Australia and England have had packed crowds (pictured on January 6)

Though people are being stopped from seeing their dying loved ones, events such as the Ashes series between Australia and England have had packed crowds (pictured on January 6)

Though people are being stopped from seeing their dying loved ones, events such as the Ashes series between Australia and England have had packed crowds (pictured on January 6)

She is fully vaccinated and begged to see her dad in his final hours, but was turned away.

‘I was crying hysterically because I wasn’t able to see him,’ she told 2GB.

Ms La Macchia’s mother was allowed to see her husband as he took his last few breaths, but had to leave the room after an hour. 

She was told she would have to reapply for another exemption the next day – but Antonio died before she could do so. 

Source: DailyMail AU

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