Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, has entered its second week of lockdown after the time was extended to June 10.
Recently a new variant of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in the state, named Delta COVID-19. It is said to be highly infectious, and it is rising the concern for the spike in cases.
World Health Organization has identified this new variant as the Delta variant, which spread more easily, and is said to be the cause of rising cases in India.
“It is a variant of significant concern,” Victoria state Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told reporters in Melbourne. “The fact that it is a variant different to other cases it means it is not related, in terms of transmission, with these cases.”
Sutton said that there had not been any case so far till today, which could be liked to this new variant.
“It is a concern that it is not linked to other cases but we are chasing down all those primary case contacts … and looking into where it might have been acquired,” Sutton said.
The first time this new variant was detected was in the two members of the family who had travelled to New South Wales (NSW), two weeks prior.
NSW is the most populous state of Australia with no cases since the past month.
Victoria, since its lockdown, has reported 64 cases so far. It had not reported any case since the past three months, imposing strict SOPs. The new outbreak, the government says, is because of one traveller who had been released from quarantine and later tested positive.
The extension of lockdown in Melbourne was due to the Kappa variant. But still, new cases have been in single digits so far.
Strict rules, state to state movement, lockdowns and social distancing have helped Australia to restrict the cases to 30,100 with 910 deaths.
Vaccination is still underway. Up till now, 20% of adults have been vaccinated, with nearly 4.8 million doses administered so far.