Victoria has recorded two new local cases of COVID-19 overnight sparking hopes lockdown will end as planned on Thursday at 11.59pm.The Department of Health confirmed the two cases were linked to current outbreaks.One case is a child linked to the West Melbourne outbreak and the other is a household contact of a worker linked to the Arcare Maidstone outbreak.”While we never want to see new cases, it is reassuring that we are again seeing these cases with clear links to existing outbreaks,” Acting Premier James Merlino said.
More than 22,000 people came forward to be tested yesterday.Melbourne and regional Victoria were “on track” to ease restrictions later this week, despite the emergence of the Delta cluster, Mr Merlino said.
The Delta outbreak has since been linked to a returned traveller in Melbourne’s hotel quarantine system.Mr Merlino said the “outstanding work” of contact tracers meant new cases had been successfully isolated.
“We remain on track to later in this week announce, as we have said we have planned to do all along, further easings of restriction in regional Victoria and careful easing of restrictions in Melbourne,” Mr Merlino said.
“This cluster was discovered after the lockdown was in place and nothing about today changes our plan. So I just want to send that very reassuring message to all Victorians.”Victoria‘s AMA President Dr Roderick McRae told Today the city needed to see the impact of the 11 local cases detected yesterday.
“Nobody knows exactly what they are,” Dr McRae said.”It’s terrific they have happened in a quarantine environment.”Yes, we know how they linked. But what was the interaction of all of those people with others?”I haven’t heard yet if some were children. Did they go to school?”
Dr McRae said Melbourne’s contract tracers were doing “a great job” but “we need to provide the opportunity to let them do that”.
“I understand that it’s a new variant and we’re calling it Delta now,” he said.
“I hope there’s great wisdom that we’ve picked the Greek alphabet with 24 variants and that’ll be the end of it. The new one is coming. It appears to be that it has higher infectivity.
“Then what we don’t know is, does it just wait that little bit longer to declare symptoms in somebody who has had it? So we focus on 14 days. What if it turns out to be 16 or 17 days?”We’ve said to someone you’re fine, they go out and they might spread it.”Once again, the important message is to get vaccinated.”
Dr McRae said getting vaccinated was particularly important for those Victorians with cancer, who “are twice as likely to be very crook” if they contract COVID-19.
Amid a push to vaccinate children as young as 12, Dr McRae said that age group and “even young adults (have) become a reservoir to allow the virus to spread”.
“If we have a large part of the population unvaccinated, they’re just waiting to catch it and develop the next one,” he said.
Dr McRae said Australians must get vaccinated in order to protect the health of people in the community.”
A lot of the people with vaccine hesitancy are sitting there with cancer, they’re having treatment, they’re uncertain. I can understand that,” he said.
“But please go and talk with your general practitioner. There’s also a resource at the Victorian Cancer Centre.
“We want to look after our fellow Australians.”