Officials are scrambling to pinpoint the source of several mystery cases in Melbourne amid concerns surrounding the highly infectious Delta strain.
news.com.au June 6, 2021 7:39AM
Last updated June 6, 2021 8:19AM AEST
The scramble to pinpoint the source of several mystery cases of Covid in Melbourne is still underway, with concerns surrounding the highly infectious Delta strain remaining.
Health officials are working to identify the source of 69 infections linked to the outbreak, with two in the West Melbourne cluster announced yesterday having visited known exposure sites.
The couple – one of which shopped frequently at Epping Plaza and Craigieburn Central – are both in isolation, but while the visit to the shopping centres is a common factor with earlier cases, the shopping times don’t match up, leaving officials scratching their heads.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said he did consider shutting down those two shopping centres but “people need to shop.”
Former AMA President Dr Tony Bartone told ABC News the lack of a genomic match with regards to yesterday’s two new cases is a “concern”, adding that authorities may not be able to get to the bottom of it.
“The fact that we can’t get a genomic match on two of those cases that was announced yesterday at this stage is a concern.
“It’s not always possible to get a genomic match on every case, so we may not know exactly how the origin of this Delta variant came into Melbourne on this occasion,” he explained.
He went on to say analysing data from overseas will aid Melbourne Health officials in how to tackle the Delta outbreak.
“If we look at data from India where the Delta variant has created a huge load of cases and, indeed, hospitalisations and people losing their lives, we know it seems to be potentially more transmissible amongst children,” he said.
Coronavirus fragments have been discovered in wastewater samples from Melbourne’s inner west and north catchment area, a detection that is “of interest” to authorities.
While the suburbs currently have no confirmed cases of the virus, it is near the West Melbourne Delta mystery cluster.
Residents in the area are being urged to get tested if they develop symptoms.
A DHHS statement explained: “The unexpected detection may be due to someone who has had COVID-19 that is no longer infectious continuing to ‘shed’ the virus or it may be due to an active but undiagnosed infectious case.”