The scale of the data is simply staggering. Peking University estimates 900 million Chinese people have now been infected with COVID, representing about two thirds of the population. The other mind-blowing figure in today’s story by Burnet Institute epidemiologist Michael Toole is that during the Lunar New Year period – which starts this weekend – people in China will make up to an estimated two billion trips around the country.

He explains this inland travel could still have implications for those of us outside China. That’s even though Australia is among the countries now requiring travellers from there to test for COVID before they depart for our shores.

Firstly, it’s possible travellers will transmit the virus to remote parts of China where it could fester and mutate into a more transmissible variant. And then there is a potential people will travel to Australia via other countries while infected.

We should be prepared for the pandemic to shift again, writes Professor Toole. And right now, we are not.

Lucy Beaumont

Health + Disability Editor

China’s COVID cases may have hit 900 million. What’s headed our way?

Michael Toole, Burnet Institute

China have been overestimated or deaths have been underestimated. Whatever the case, China’s massive COVID surge and expected Lunar New Year travel could raise risks for other countries.

20 years ago, vast bushfires razed Canberra’s suburbs – and bushfire science was never the same

Andrew Gissing, Macquarie University

The Canberra fires showed even urban communities can be in danger if close enough to the bush.

Murray Valley encephalitis has been detected in mozzies in NSW and Victoria. Here’s what you need to know

Cameron Webb, University of Sydney

Murray Valley encephalitis has been detected in south-eastern Australia. No human cases have yet been reported, but past outbreaks after floods show we need to be cautious.

9 in 10 landlord tax returns are wrong. Does this make landlords champion tax dodgers?

Dale Boccabella, UNSW Sydney

Australian landlords pay $1 billion less tax per year than the Tax Office believes they should, with almost all of the ‘errors’ in their favour.

Paparazzi, ‘blooding’ and a body count: hunting and being hunted dominate Prince Harry’s royally discontented memoir

Giselle Bastin, Flinders University

Prince Harry’s long-awaited memoir tells a story of a troubled young man, traumatised by the death of his mother when he was just 12. And a man, closer to his 40s, who remains angry and anxious.

Hidden women of history: how ‘Lady’ Williams founded a great Australian apple

Susan Broomhall, Australian Catholic University

Historically, women’s contributions to the agricultural sector often occurred outside of professional roles. ‘Lady’ Maud Williams, who discovered the Lady Williams apple, is one of those women.

Russia is using drones to target Ukrainian electricity and erode morale

James Horncastle, Simon Fraser University

With electricity in Ukraine constantly disrupted by Russian attacks, the Ukrainian population faces a difficult choice — to remain in the country under such conditions, or flee abroad.

Prince Harry says his military kills were like chess pieces – the problem of seeing war as a game

Emma Breeze, University of Birmingham

War is changing, but the laws that govern it stay the same.

Astronomers reveal the most detailed radio image yet of the Milky Way’s galactic plane

Andrew Hopkins, Macquarie University

Our galaxy should be full of traces of dead stars. Until now, we have found surprisingly few of these supernova remnants, but a new telescope collaboration is changing that.

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