Covid Victoria: 246 new infections spark fears of case explosion

Victoria’s Covid outbreak has surged by another 246 cases of the wildly infectious Delta strain for the second consecutive day.

The Department of Health confirmed on Tuesday morning 90 of the new infections are linked to known cases and outbreaks. That leaves 156 cases with an unknown source.

In the past 24 hours, 43,858 tests were processed and 32,300 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews addresses the media during a press conference in Melbourne, Friday, September 3, 2021. Source: AAP
Victoria today recorded another 246 new Covid-19 infections, the same figure as yesterday. Source: AAP

It follows the state’s most infectious day in over a year, with 246 new infections reported on Monday.

There are now 1,786 total active cases connected to the current outbreak.

Victoria faces Covid explosion

Forecasters fear the current trend could mean infections will explode by 4,000 cases a day by the end of the month.

The spike yesterday raised the state’s five-day average to 200 cases and the unofficial reproduction number to close to 1.9.

Health staff are seen at a pop-up COVID19 test site in Altona North in Melbourne, Monday, August 30, 2021. Source: AAP
Forecasters are predicting Victoria could be facing more than 4000 cases a day by the end of the month. Source: AAP

This means for every Covid positive person, two more are being infected.

It’s well above the rate of 1.12 in New South Wales, where health authorities expect record cases of 1,100 to 2,000 a day until mid-September.

“I’ve done a forecast for Victoria, which is not looking good because the effective reproduction (Reff) number for Victoria is way higher than NSW,” Adelaide epidemiologist Adrian Esterman told the Australian Financial Review.

But the inconsistency of daily case numbers means there is some uncertainty associated with the modelling.

Vaccine hotline inundated with calls

A dedicated vaccine hotline was flooded with calls yesterday ahead of a blitz to protect Victorian Year 12 students from the virus.

The state is aiming to get all Year 12 students vaccinated with at least one dose before their final exams, as part of a 10-day priority access scheme.

Pfizer bookings opened for Year 12 students, teachers, exam supervisors and assessors on Monday, with a dedicated hotline fielding 30,000 calls before lunch.

By the afternoon, the health department said more than 7000 priority bookings had been made.

Health Minister Martin Foley said the system had been "hammered" because of the "wild enthusiasm" of the cohort of about 50,000 students.

With AAP

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