As Australia registers 35 deaths, a new Omicron COVID sub-variant has been discovered in Melbourne wastewater
The novel BA.4 or BA.5 Omicron strain, which has already been identified in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Denmark, has been discovered in Victoria’s wastewater.
A new COVID-19 sub-variant has been discovered in Victorian wastewater, following another 35 virus-related fatalities in the state.
After samples were identified in a Tullamarine catchment north of Melbourne, Victorian health officials are monitoring the novel BA.4 or BA.5 Omicron form.
In South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Germany, the sub-variant has just been discovered in a limited number of COVID-19 patients.
According to the World Health Organization, there are no major epidemiological differences between the novel Omicron strain and the more prevalent BA.2 strain at this time.
“There is no cause for alarm with the emergence of the new sub-variants,” WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said in a statement this week.
“We are not yet observing a major spike in cases, hospitalisations or deaths.”
Covid19 Update in Australia
It comes after officials in Western Australia said on Saturday that over 41,000 new infections had been detected in Australia, along with 35 deaths, seven of which were historical fatalities.
This comes after over 47,000 cases and 34 deaths were recorded across the country on Friday.
On Saturday, net hospital admissions increased by two dozen patients across the country, with seven additional patients admitted to intensive care.
In the last 24 hours, there have been 9,559 new cases in Victoria, 13,601 new cases in New South Wales, and 5,878 new cases in Queensland, according to the latest numbers.
Overnight, 3,749 new infections were reported in South Australia; 6,314 cases were reported in Western Australia; 1,334 new cases were reported in Tasmania; 391 in the Northern Territory; and 856 in the Australian Capital Territory.
Thirty-five people died across the country, including eight in Victoria, 18 in New South Wales, one each in Queensland and South Australia, and seven in Western Australia.
There are 403 COVID-19 patients in Victoria’s hospitals, including 21 in Intensive Care Units (ICU). In New South Wales, there are 1,491 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, with 72 in ICU; in Queensland, there are 538 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, with 22 in ICU.
South Australia has 223 COVID patients in hospital, eight of whom are in ICU; Western Australia has 205 COVID patients in hospital, eight of whom are in ICU; 48 patients with the virus are being treated in Tasmanian hospitals, one of whom is in ICU; 28 patients are being treated in Northern Territory hospitals; and 60 patients are being treated in ACT hospitals, two of whom are in ICU.