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Covid Australia: Omicron hits Victoria for days with two ‘probable’ contagious cases in the community


Omicron hits Victoria: Two ‘probable’ cases were contagious in the community for days – as another confirmed in hotel quarantine

  • Testing of confirmed traveler who arrived from the Netherlands has Omicron
  • They are in quarantine, all other passengers on the flight are being contacted
  • Authorities are also investigating probable Omicron cases outside Melbourne

Victoria has registered its first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

The health department said on Wednesday that genomic testing has confirmed that a traveler who arrived Friday from the Netherlands via Abu Dhabi has the variant.

They are in hotel quarantine and all other passengers on the flight are monitored to ensure they have been tested, in accordance with current requirements for overseas arrivals.

The department is also investigating probable Omicron cases discovered in the towns of Casey and Brimbank.

The two cases have produced results with S gene dropout – a signature of the Omicron variant.

Victoria has registered its first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Pictured: International travelers wearing PPE arrive at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport on Nov. 29

“Household contacts of these cases have also tested positive and whole genome sequencing is underway to confirm whether they represent the Omicron variant,” the department said.

“None of these cases are related to international travel and the source of acquisition is being investigated.”

Several contacts of the two cases have been identified and have been ordered to quarantine for 14 days.

Other people at lower risk are instructed to undergo a test and isolate until they get a negative result.

Contact tracing continues and is likely to generate more contacts.

It comes as Victoria reported 1,312 new COVID-19 infections and five more deaths.

There are 11,331 active cases in the state, up from 13,050 on Tuesday, including 303 patients in hospital, 97 of whom are in intensive care and 27 needing ventilators.

The seven-day hospitalization average is 297.

Testers processed 79,490 results Tuesday, while 3,858 people were vaccinated at state-run hubs.

More than 91 percent of Victorians over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the Victorian government has announced it will invest $21 million in establishing an mRNA research program as part of its drive to use the technology to produce industrial-scale vaccines for future pandemics.



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