‘Current Omicron wave is just the beginning, not its end’

By Our Reporter
Representative image // Photo by Yoav Aziz on Unsplash

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly has warned that all signs indicate cases will continue to rise over the next month as the newer variants of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5 are highly infectious. “The wave of cases from these strains was at its beginning, not its end,” he said.

Professor Kelly also noted that a rise in cases will put pressure on already struggling hospitals and health care workers, urging people to continue mask wearing indoors to help slow the spread, even though the wearing of masks has not been mandated.

“These variants are highly infectious and have an ability to evade the immune protection from either previous infection or vaccine. Although three or four doses of vaccine remain very effective at providing protection against severe disease from BA.4 and BA.5, vaccination alone is not effective at stopping infection or transmission of the virus from person to person,” he said in a statement.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has reiterated its advice on reinfection periods, testing and isolation, mask wearing, vaccine boosters and treatments and called on employers to allow work from home if feasible.

Employers should review their occupational health and safety risks and mitigations, and their business continuity plans. They should consider the feasibility of some employees working from home, wearing masks in the workplace and support employees to take leave when sick, the statement further said.

Victorian Numbers

Across Victoria, over 68 percent of people aged 12 years and older are now up to date with three COVID-19 vaccination doses, while over 94 percent have received two doses.

In addition, almost 57 percent of children aged five to 11 years in the state have now received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

Victoria has recorded nearly thirteen thousand (12,984) new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 with 28 lives lost.

Toddlers closer to receiving vaccine

Australia’s medical regulatory body has provisionally approved a paediatric dose of a COVID vaccine.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the Moderna dose designed for babies and young children on Tuesday.

The dosage has been specifically designed for the age group of six months to five years, by containing a lower concentration of the main active ingredient.

The TGA is recommending the vaccine be administered as two doses, at least 28 days apart.

However, Australia has yet to purchase any of the shots and further advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation will determine when the vaccine is available.

COVID on track to be leading death cause in Australia

An infectious disease expert in Queensland says that COVID is on track to becoming the leading cause of deaths in Australia.

Professor Nigel McMillan from the Menzies Health Institute, has warned that people are not taking the risk of COVID seriously enough.

He also said that if cases continue at their current pace, it will overtake cardiac coronary heart disease in terms of the leading cause of fatality.

Health Message

Victorian schools are facing a surge in COVID cases, with official health advice strongly recommending that students wear masks indoors.

During the first week of Term 3, there was a 67 per cent increase in the number of children contracting COVID.

While it is not mandated, the heads of state, independent and Catholic school sectors, along with health authorities, have all urged students to wear masks while in class, from now until the end of winter.

(With additional inputs from NEMBC Multilingual News Service)

The Indian Sun acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

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