The outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta strain in Victoria is related to a returning traveler, but questions about how it leaked to the community remain.
This outbreak is known as the West Melbourne cluster, and there are now at least 14 confirmed cases associated with it, all of which are highly contagious strains of Delta.
Acting Prime Minister James Merlino confirmed that they have now found a genome match between the cluster and a returning traveler who entered the hotel for isolation on May 8 after arriving from Sri Lanka.
“Although we have a genomic connection, we currently have no epidemiological connection and are investigating further to see if we can establish any connection between the returning travelers and these families,” he said.
“There is no clear understanding of where the transmission incident may occur, but we are investigating all possibilities from airplanes to travel to hotels.”
Victoria recorded two new local infections overnight, bringing the total number of infections in the state to 85.
An overseas traveller who is currently quarantined in a hotel has also confirmed a case.
Prior to this, 11 new cases of infection were confirmed yesterday, two of which were reported later on Sunday.
The returning passengers tested positive for the virus on the same day they arrived in Melbourne, and were transferred from the Novotel Ibis Quarantine Hotel to the Holiday Inn Health Hotel on May 14 and then lifted the quarantine on May 23.
Investigations so far have shown that there are 24 people on the same plane as the case, and all crew members and passengers have tested negative.
Among the 268 employees who worked at the ibis hotel and 360 employees at the wellness hotel from May 8th to 9th, no positive tests were found. All 12 residents who stayed at the same Novotel Ibis hotel tested negative.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Zheng said that this shows that there is direct human-to-human transmission or indirect transmission to families and communities through unknown cases.
“The investigation is still ongoing, but there are four main theories, some of which are more or less possible. The first possibility is that the case was transmitted to someone or was infected by someone (another passenger on the plane). And that person continued to infect someone in the community,” Professor Zheng said.
“The second possibility is a case that spread after he left the hotel for isolation. The third possibility is that the staff transmitted from the airport to the first hotel somewhere on the way to the second hotel, then to the community, and then the first The four possibilities are that the case was transmitted to residents in the community after being quarantined in a hotel.”
West Melbourne Cluster Has become the focus of a race to contain the outbreak in Victoria Because of how fast the variant spreads.
Victoria’s chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said this variant is “more dangerous” than other variants, with 75% of people contracting the virus when they have a case.
He said this means that the state is “a race against time” to control the new variants.
Authorities believe that the mutation was leaked to the community from an overseas traveler, but genome sequencing did not find any match with people in the hotel quarantine area.
“It’s almost certain that this is the source of this. Most people crossing our border have passed hotel quarantine, but we have no clear connection with any particular violation,” said Professor Paul Kelly, the federal chief medical officer.
“At some point there is some speculation that this may be due to people receiving some [hotel quarantine] Exempt. My colleague, the Chief Health Officer of the Capital Territory, assured me that there were no positive cases. They have all undergone a standard number of tests, and anyone who is quarantined in a hotel will get it. “
Melbourne blockade is still expected to be lifted
The two-week lockdown in Melbourne will end at 11.59pm on Thursday, a senior Victorian government source told Melbourne Herald sunThey are very confident that there will not be another postponement.
However, one thing that may force the authorities to maintain the lockdown restrictions is a significant increase in mysterious cases.
“We will definitely lift the blockade as planned,” a senior source told the publication.
“Unless there is a large-scale shock, we will expect this to happen.”
It is expected that once the lockdown is over, Melbourne will introduce loose restrictions similar to those currently implemented in Victoria, which may include ceilings for private and public gatherings, restrictions on the density of places and businesses, and wearing masks indoors.
Mr. Merlino began to appease Melbourne residents on Tuesday, saying that the state is expected to announce a relaxation of restrictions due to the “excellent work” of contact tracers.
“We are still expected to announce later this week and, as we said, we have been planning to do so to further relax the restrictions in Victoria and relax the restrictions in Melbourne cautiously,” he said.
“This cluster was discovered after the lockdown was in place. There is no change to our plan today. So I just want to convey this very reassuring message to all Victorians. Nothing today will change our plan.”
PM calls for an end to the blockade
More and more people are calling for an end to the blockade in Melbourne, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed his views.
The prime minister said he “wants” to limit Will be lifted “as soon as possible”.
“I will urge us to remove these restrictions as soon as possible,” Mr Morrison said.
“hope [we] See Victoria soon reopened. Especially for those parents who have to keep their children away from school at home. In the past 18 months, children have lost enough time out of school. “
It comes from the opposition leader in Victoria Michael O’Brien blasted the ongoing restrictions, Claiming that families and businesses suffer as a result.
He claimed that the blockade still means that “many Victorians live on the margins almost every day” and that the government “does not understand how difficult this blockade is for such a multi-dimensional state.”
“We can’t continue like this,” he said, accusing the government of allowing a third of the vaccine to “accumulate dust on the shelf.”
“We need to protect this state, we need to do it quickly, because we need to get rid of this blockade.”