Source of some mystery Covid-19 cases in Victoria still being investigated

Source of some mystery Covid-19 cases in Victoria still being investigated

People are urged to get tested for Covid-19 if they have even mild symptoms. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gaye GerardSource:News Corp Australia

The sources of some mystery Covid-19 cases in Victoria are still being investigated, as the state recorded one new local case and authorities warned the threat was “not over yet”.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton told reporters on Sunday authorities were “working through” some of the mystery cases.

“Some of them have moderately established links — not absolutely definitive, but a pretty good sign that they’re linked,” he said.

“The genomics tells us even more — that they’re the Kappa variant for some of them.

“It’s really the very early case after the Wollert case and the index case for the Arcare (Maidstone) outbreaks that remain the real mystery, if you like.

“Most others have lines of investigation (which) haven’t been tied in full, but (are) pretty clearly linked with all likelihood to existing cases.”

Source of some mystery Covid-19 cases in Victoria still being investigated

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton has warned the virus threat is not over yet. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David CroslingSource:News Corp Australia

Professor Sutton rejected the suggestion the recent lockdown was “on the basis of just mystery cases”.

“Mystery cases are a concern. They do relate to the fact there are other cases out there that haven’t been identified and therefore can’t be chased down from a contact tracing point of view,” he said.

“Some of those mystery cases in recent days, as I say, we are in the process of working through those investigations and there are some early signs of likely links.

“We want to work through all that other information, double and triple checking the exact times and locations, CCTV and other electronic data that might assist in terms of the exact crossover periods.

“It is not over yet and certainly we want that high level of testing to be able to give that assurance about any other cases that might be out there.”

Source of some mystery Covid-19 cases in Victoria still being investigated

Health Minister Martin Foley says the mission is not accomplished yet. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Sarah MatraySource:News Corp Australia

Victoria recorded one new local Covid case overnight, taking the total number of active cases to 68.

The recent case is a primary close contact linked to the Arcare Maidstone outbreak, but they are not a resident and they have been isolating throughout their infectious period.

“This case in quarantine is a good thing but it cannot be taken as mission accomplished,” health minister Martin Foley told reporters.

“There is still more work to do. There are more people to interview, there are more leads to explore.

“To track down those last few leads is the most important thing we can do.

“I stress that if you’ve got the slightest of symptoms, please come forward to the more than 200 test sites right around the state that can give you a very quick turnaround in your test results.”

In the case announced on Saturday, a number of exposure sites were established including Reservoir, Southbank, Docklands, North Melbourne, North Geelong, Thomastown, Thornbury, Craigieburn, Burnside, Hillside, Taylors Hill and Taylors Lakes.

Source of some mystery Covid-19 cases in Victoria still being investigated

High testing levels should be sustained to track any remote traces of the virus, authorities said. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Dan PeledSource:News Corp Australia

Victoria’s Covid commander Jeroen Weimar said it had been a “solid” 24 hours in response to the outbreak.

“It is so important that we sustain those high testing levels so we can be sure we’ve tracked any remote traces of this virus still circulating in our community,” he told reporters.

Professor Sutton also “hugely” encouraged everyone to be tested, even if they only had mild symptoms.

“We’re going through winter — there are lots of coughs and colds about. Please don’t assume that it’s not Covid,” he said.

“People have been surprised by their own positive results because they hadn’t been identified as a primary close contact, didn’t regard themselves at risk, didn’t regard themselves as having gone to an exposure site, but nonetheless ended up with Covid.

“Nobody wants to have inadvertently put others at risk because they’ve had Covid and not had that diagnosis.”

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