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10 Sep 2020

Statement regarding Doherty Institute modelling

Attributable to University of Melbourne Professor Jodie McVernon, Director of Doherty Epidemiology

An error in the graphical representations of modelling conducted by the Doherty Institute utilised by the Commonwealth Government in the public health response to COVID-19 was noticed in June. The conclusions of the model regarding response strategies needed to ensure ICU capacity requirements were not exceeded were accurate and didn’t affect its implications for policy.

This error resulted from a single line in the code used to plot a graph, meaning that it showed the number of hospitalisations rather than the number of ICU bed admissions.

We informed the Commonwealth Government at the time this error was realised having cross-checked and confirmed that it only referred to two visual outputs.

A more detailed description of the modelling with the corrected graphical representations was submitted for peer review to the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal and was accepted for publication on the 30th August 2020.

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