Tuesday, May 17, 2022

COVID-19 cases rise in Victoria, fall in NSW; covid sub-variant likely

COVID-19 infections have risen in Victoria, while New South Wales has posted a decline, but health bosses are warning of a potential spike driven by an infectious sub-variant.
Victoria has recorded 5499 cases, up from yesterday’s 5192, while NSW has 8911 positive tests reported, compared to 13,093 on Sunday.
Both states reported a death in people who had tested positive to the virus.
Cases have also dropped in the Australian Capital Territory, with 599 new infections recorded today.
This marks a decline of 50 from Sunday.
There are currently 38 coronavirus patients being treated in hospital, with three of these in ICU.
The new figures come amid warnings of a new Omicron sub-variant, dubbed, BA.2 spreading through the community.
Speaking to Today, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said case numbers could increase dramatically in NSW over the next four to six weeks.
“We are having forecasts we could see double the number of COVID cases in the next four to six weeks,” he said.
“The pandemic has not gone away.
“We’ve seen a change. We’ve gone from BA 1, a variant of COVID to BA 2. And the advice is it’s much more transmissible. It’s not necessarily more dangerous.
“We are expecting that more people may get it.”
Hazzard said ICU numbers in NSW have slightly increased over recent days; currently 47 people are being treated in intensive care, while Victoria has 25.
Residents who have recovered from COVID-19 are being urged to get booster shots “four to six weeks” after infection.
Hazzard also said immunocompromised people should also keep up to date with vaccinations.
“More than two million people who are eligible at the present time to have their booster in NSW and they still haven’t had it,” he said.
“I just want to make sure everybody understands the need. Go and get your booster or go and get your vaccine,” he said, reiterating the importance of basic public health measures.

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