Breaking News Today

New Melbourne cases one of city’s ‘more challenging’ outbreaks, experts warn

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Medical experts say testing numbers in coming days will determine whether another snap lockdown is needed.

Medical experts say Melbourne's four new local cases of coronavirus are one of the city's more challenging outbreaks and testing numbers in coming days will determine whether another snap lockdown is needed.

Dr Todd Cameron said results from those tested will determine whether Melbourne will need to take tougher measures to get control of the new outbreak.

"I think this is probably one of the more challenging outbreaks that we have seen just based on the number of people involved," Dr Cameron told Today.

READ MORE: New coronavirus exposure sites in Melbourne after four positive cases

"Provided we don't see unlinked clusters that are popping up all over the place I think we can be confident that we are getting on top of it."

Dr Cameron also said the viral load in the city's four new coronavirus cases is worrying and because one of the new cases is a preschool-aged child, the chances of more positive cases emerging is likely.

"Having a pre-school child, any of us who have had children of that age know that they are kind of all over the place. So there's a reasonable chance that we are going to see more cases I would expect," he said.

https://twitter.com/Jo_Hall9/status/1396703293728980994

Contact tracers are scrambling to determine the source of the new outbreak after the four new cases, from the one Northern Suburbs family, tested positive.

The four are across two households and at least one is believed to have been highly contagious during their exposure period.

So far none have been linked to a Wollert man who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.

READ:  Driver killed in Melbourne freeway collision

Genomic sequencing is underway but authorities are concerned there is undetected transmission somewhere within the community.

"The dates (between the family and the Wollert man) don't line up so we can't rule out that there's a missing link out there," Health Minister Martin Foley said.

Major testing sites around Melbourne had their hours extended on Monday night and new exposure sites were revealed in the race to find any further spread of the virus.

The public health alerts date as far back as Tuesday, May 18, and include shopping centres, a swim school, restaurants and a sporting venue.

The four new cases, in the City of Whittlesea, are two men, one woman and the preschool-aged child.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton warned Victorians should prepare for more positive cases, particularly given one of the new cases was potentially highly infectious.

"The CT values were low which means the viral load was high and, as you say, with close contacts becoming positive, he is likely to be quite infectious," he said.

"We will always be at risk until we have high vaccination coverage."

https://twitter.com/andrew_lund/status/1396703577758830599

Second scare in a month

The fresh cases follow a coronavirus scare earlier this month, where a man who was COVID-positive travelled around Melbourne's north whilst potentially infectious.

He visited Woolworths Epping North on May 8, along with a 7-Eleven on May 6 and 8, and another supermarket in the area.

There were also fears the man may have infected hundreds of commuters after two train trips were listed as exposure sites, one of which coincided with the end of an AFL match.

READ:  Quarantined Italians fill deserted streets with music to lift spirits

READ MORE: Melbourne commuters who fail to wear masks face $200 fine

Anyone onboard the Craigieburn to Southern Cross train service on May 7 departing at 5.28pm was urged to get tested.

Commuters who travelled on the 10.20pm train service from Flinders Street to Craigieburn were also required to take a COVID-19 test.

Curry Vault Indian Restaurant & Bar in Melbourne's CBD was also listed as an exposure site.

Traces of COVID-19 was picked up in wastewater in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, in the Epping and Wollert areas, last Thursday night.

"These types of traces of coronavirus in wastewater are getting detected regularly – with more people leaving hotel quarantine – cleared of the virus but still shedding, and moving around our community," Professor Brett Sutton said in a statement.

"While the detections may be due to someone who has had COVID-19 that is no longer infectious continuing to 'shed' the virus, it is also possible that it is due to an active but undiagnosed infectious case.

"This detection is of note because there are public exposure sites in the area relating to the Wollert case, who has been isolating in a health hotel outside the catchment."

Anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms, including a fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, and loss or change in their sense of smell or test, has been urged to get tested.

There is also a push for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible if they are eligible, with wait times steadily increasing across the city's north since the new likely positive cases were announced.

READ:  Why Does Hand Sanitiser Smell Like Tequila Or Vodka? (Hint: It Shouldn't.)

People can book an appointment at vaccination centres by calling 1800 675 398.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-update-two-likely-positive-cases-in-melbournes-north/c7cc4be2-cc0a-4e07-8ea1-15326a669832

Shares
Share This
Finance Advice 2021