New variants represent a serious threat

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In a facility locked down due to the spread of the coronavirus, elderly caregivers in Victoria can be seen waving from behind the glass.

This is a sad reminder of the darkest chapter in the second wave of the Victorian epidemic, when 820 people died and the virus swept across nursing homes.

The Victorian government is doing everything it can to prevent these devastating scenes from happening again. They imposed a 7-day lockdown. Contact tracers worked around the clock, and tens of thousands of Victorians were forced to quarantine after visiting exposed locations.

But experts still worry that if a new variant of this deadly virus prevails, these will not be enough.

The editor-in-chief of the Australian Journal of Medicine, Dr. Nick Tully, expressed his concerns on social media.

He wrote: “I don’t want to alarm anyone, but these new coronavirus variants represent a huge new threat.”

“Because the unvaccinated transmission rate is so high (R0 is high). If the previous restrictive methods are used, contact tracing may not be enough.”

related: Victoria records three new cases

Dr. Talley wrote that the situation in Victoria is very good, but the outbreak that originated in the South Australian hotel quarantine area and has now reached 54 cases is “very disturbing”.

“When we are ahead, we are behind. Highly infectious (R0>5) The Indian variant may put almost everyone who is not vaccinated in Australia at risk. It has/can leak. The way out of the Covid pandemic , The only way out is Covid-19 vaccination.”

He said he did not believe that Australians “understand the new and very real risks we face”.

“We are lucky that the community transmission rate is very low. The restrictions have worked. However, if the variant R0 is 5 or higher, even lock-in is not enough to prevent (the) transmission.”

Professor Brendan Crabb of the Burnett Institute had the same view, he told sunrise On Monday, we were at “an important moment…as big as we have faced (since) the pandemic began.”

related: New hybrid variants discovered in Vietnam

“There is a huge global surge, and it is driven by new variants,” he said.

“These are evolutionary versions of the original virus. We need to be very worried about these viruses that are easier to spread and avoid immunity.

“On the surface, the Vietnam virus is particularly worrying because it is a virus that has evolved in a different way.

“We have been told that this is a recombination of the two viruses, and the details have not yet been released for review, but this is a different and more worrying way of allowing different things to appear suddenly, not just repeatedly. “

Victoria recorded 9 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday-but 6 cases were reported yesterday, and it is hoped that the state can control the outbreak.

The health authorities said yesterday that 6 positive cases had been detected after the midnight reporting period, which means that only 3 new cases have been recorded in Victoria today.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said that two of the cases were major close contacts who had been isolated during the infection.

The last case is still under investigation.

Two other cases were found during the hotel quarantine.

Cases of the new coronavirus in the state have also been detected from more than 42,000 tests.

Although the number is small, the state’s mysterious cases, a surge in infections and a rapidly growing list of exposed locations have exacerbated concerns that Victoria’s “circuit breaker” 7-day lockdown may be extended.

The government has consistently refused to comment on whether the lockdown will end as planned at 11:59 pm on Thursday. Acting Governor James Melino said that it is not just the number of cases that determines whether to extend the restrictions.

“This is the type of case. This is where it happens. It is [whether] We know where they are linked, if they are high-risk sites,” he said.

“The public health team considered all these things, when they have the confidence to advise the government, and then we can relax the restrictions.”

Mr. Melino said that the epidemic “is likely to get worse before it gets better”.

—— Foster

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