Victoria’s Cases Soar To 5,137 Ahead Of National Cabinet
Redefining close contact
Victoria's cases soar as the state reported 5137 new infections on Thursday and 13 lives lost to Covid-related illnesses.
It marks the third consecutive day the state has reported a new daily record for Covid cases since the pandemic began.
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There are currently 23,833 active coronavirus cases, with 395 people in hospital, while 55 of those are in ICU and 23 are on ventilators.
Another 45 people are in intensive care with Covid, but the health Department have confirmed their infections are no longer considered active.
The new cases were detected from 81.093 swabs collected on Wednesday, while only 3,775 vaccine doses were administered at state-run hubs.
As of Thursday, more than 92 per cent of Victorians aged over 12 are now fully vaccinated.
The alarming jump in numbers come as doctors warn over the federal government’s aim to change the definition of a close contact to someone who has spent four hours or more with a confirmed case in a household or household-like setting.
The aim is to reduce contract tracing efforts, along with the number of people required to quarantine.
Under the new proposal, people deemed as a close contact would only be required to quarantine for seven days and take a rapid antigen test (RAT) on day six.
However, Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid took to social media saying it would only exasperate the outbreak.
"Omicron spreads more easily than any other variant," he said.
"It doesn't care if you are a family member, a co-worker, a drinker in the pub or breathing the same air in a lift. Isolating close contacts slows spread. Isolating less people means faster spread."
- Dr Korshid
Furthermore, the impact of redefining a close contact would also put additional strain on testing centres amid a shortage of RAT's, as price-gauging has seen the home-testing doubling in price.
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