Former deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth says COVID-19 pandemic will ‘end’ in 2022

Australia’s former deputy chief medical officer, Dr Nick Coatsworth, believes the spread of Omicron and vaccination coverage will enable the world’s population to build immunity against COVID-19.

Australia’s former deputy chief medical officer has said the coronavirus pandemic will “end” in 2022.

Dr Nick Coatsworth believes the world’s population will develop immunity to COVID-19 this year through the inevitable spread of the highly transmissible variant of Omicron and vaccination.

His statement comes two years after the virus first emerged in December 2019.

“In 2022 the COVID-19 pandemic will end,” he wrote in an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald, which was published on New Year’s Day.

“The basic proposition of a pandemic, an infectious disease spreading globally among a naïve infected population, will be nil.”

Dr Coatsworth praised the people of Australia for rolling up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccines in large numbers and accepting government restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.

The former deputy chief medical officer said the virus also “helped” us get to this stage by progressing to milder disease.

He cited experience in South Africa and the UK, where patients infected with Omicron have reported less severe symptoms.

Dr Coatsworth concluded his opinion piece by saying that Australia will emerge from the pandemic “a stronger, healthier and more prosperous nation because of our efforts”.

New South Wales, the state that continues to report the highest daily coronavirus count in the country, recorded another 22,577 infections on Friday.

There are currently 901 COVID-positive cases in hospital, including 79 in intensive care and 26 requiring ventilation.

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Victoria recorded 7,442 cases on New Year’s Day and there are currently 451 people in hospital with the virus, including 51 in intensive care and 21 on ventilators.

There are 80 Queenslanders in hospital with the virus and one patient is in intensive care. The Sunshine State reported 2,266 infections on Saturday.

South Australia has added 2,100 more cases to its tally. There are 71 COVID-positive patients in hospital and four in intensive care.