Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Melbourne lockdown extended, mystery cases grow

Melbourne’s lockdown has been extended for another week as concerns grow over the transmissibility of the Delta strain.
Premier Daniel Andrews said there were a number of “mystery cases” among the 20 new cases recorded in Victoria in the last 24 hours, with only 15 linked to current outbreaks.
Defences to stop the spread of the New South Wales outbreak will also be strengthened, with the Victoria-NSW border bubble now subject to a permit system.
“If this virus can get from Sydney to Byron Bay, to Dubbo, to Armidale, to Tamworth, then only a fool would think that it couldn’t get to Albury,” Mr Andrews said.
People will need to apply for a permit if they want to use the bubble from 1pm tomorrow.
Mr Andrews said the permit system would not be enforced until 6pm Friday.
He said it was important for Victoria to know who was moving across the border in order to track the virus spread, but that changes were “relatively straightforward”.
Melbourne’s current lockdown is now set to end at 11.59pm next Thursday.
There were 41,571 tests undertaken in Victoria over the last 24 hours.

‘Confident’ mystery Victoria cases will be linked

Victoria’s COVID-19 Response Commander Jeroen Weimar has said he is “confident” the state’s mystery cases would be linked to existing transmission chains in coming days.
The mystery cases include three members of a Melton family, comprising two parents and a child.
“The child was already in isolation as a contact of another primary close contact,” Mr Weimar said.
“But we do not currently have a direct link.”
The other mystery cases include a Year One student at St Michael’s Primary School in Melbourne, and his father, a healthcare worker.

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