How does Australia’s Covid death rate and hospitalisations compare with other countries?

by Josh Nicholas

20 July 2022

There are many reasons why Covid is spreading more “successfully”, according to Professor Maximilian de Courten, director of the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University. These include the virus mutating to spread better, the timing of vaccination drives, alongside fatigue among the public, politicians and media for preventative measures such as wearing face masks.

For most of the pandemic, Australia had far fewer hospitalisations and deaths than comparable countries. Some OECD countries have seen double or even triple the number of hospitalisations per million as Australia’s peak. Until the Delta wave in late 2021, Australia was one of few countries with fewer deaths throughout the pandemic than would be expected based on previous trends, known as “excess deaths”.

New Zealand is now the only country in the OECD with negative excess deaths, according to a model created by the Economist. Based on current trends that might not last long.

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