Australia heading towards a COVID-19 'catastrophe'

It's a national emergency, with an Italian-style crisis on the way unless urgent action is taken, warns the Burnet Institute

A leading infectious diseases researcher has warned Australia is heading towards a "national emergency" with coronavirus cases set to soar further, as the nation's COVID-19 crisis deepens.

NSW reported 642 local infections on Friday - the third consecutive day infections have exceeded 600 - and four deaths, while Victoria reported 55 new cases.

Burnet Institute director and infectious diseases expert Professor Brendan Crabb said modelling showed daily cases could jump to between 3000 and 4000 within 30 days