For our free coronavirus pandemic coverage, learn more here.
Genomic sequencing is underway to determine whether an international traveller who landed in Melbourne last week might be infected with the Omicron strain of COVID-19.
The traveller, who is fully vaccinated, went straight into hotel quarantine after arriving in Victoria from the Netherlands, via Abu Dhabi, on December 3.
The pair are the first Aboriginal Victorians to die after testing positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic bgan.Credit:AP
The person returned a negative PCR test on December 4 before developing symptoms and testing positive for the virus on December 6.
Health authorities said the test results had shown an S gene dropout in the virus, a sign a person could be infected with Omicron, according to the World Health Organisation.
“Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected — called S gene dropout or S gene target failure – and this test can therefore be used as marker for this variant, pending sequencing confirmation,” the WHO said on November 26.
Health authorities said other passengers on the inbound flight would be contacted to make sure they have been tested for the virus, as contact tracers try to determine the source of the infection.
The traveller was not in the community while infectious.
Overseas arrivals to Victoria are required to quarantine for 72 hours upon arrival and undergo PCR testing within 24 hours. They also have to get tested again between five and seven days after arrival.
The potential Omicron case emerged as Victoria recorded 1185 cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths involving people aged 40 and over on Tuesday.
Two Indigenous Victorians die from COVID-19
Two elderly Aboriginal Victorians have died after testing positive for COVID-19, becoming the first Indigenous people in the state to die with the virus.
In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, health authorities confirmed a 68-year-old woman with coronavirus had died from an underlying health condition, while a 73-year-old man had died from COVID-19.
“These are the first passings of Aboriginal people in Victoria with COVID-19,” the statement read.
Health authorities said the government would continue to work with Aboriginal organisations and community leaders to manage the pandemic and urged Indigenous Victorians with questions about the virus to call the Victorian Aboriginal COVID-19 information line on 1800 312 911.
There are now 297 Victorians being treated for the virus in state hospitals, with 47 in intensive care and 25 on ventilators. Another 55 were in ICU but had been cleared of the virus.
Victorians who haven’t been fully immunised against COVID-19 continue to make up the bulk of patients admitted to hospital and ICU.
More than 52,250 test results were processed on Monday, as 3769 Victorians rolled up their sleeves to get a dose of the vaccine at state-run hubs.
To date, 91.6 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over have been fully immunised against COVID-19 and 91.4 per cent have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
There are now 13,050 active cases in Victoria and 26,600 close contacts of confirmed cases are isolating.
Hume, Casey, Melton, Brimbank, Moreland, Melbourne, Whittlesea, Geelong, Monash and Yarra Ranges were the local government areas with the highest number of new cases on Tuesday.
Stay across the most crucial developments related to the pandemic with the Coronavirus Update. Sign up for the weekly newsletter.
Most Viewed in National
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article