BREAKING: Victoria Confirms First Omicron Case

Further cases expected


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Victoria's Department of Health have confirmed that the garden state has recorded its first Omicron case.

Genomic sequencing has determined that a returned traveller in hotel quarantine who arrived from the Netherlands via Abu Dhabi is infected with the new variant of concern.

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Meantime, health authorities suspect two other potential cases of the new strain, currently undergoing genomic sequencing, found in the LGA's of Brimbank and Casey are not linked to overseas travel.

Both people were infected while out and about, triggering concern the variant could be spreading throughout the community.

"None of these cases are linked to international travel and their source of acquisition is under investigation," the department said.

"Household contacts of these cases have also tested positive and whole genome sequencing is underway to confirm whether these represent the Omicron variant."

The department say they are "taking a conservative approach" to the designation of their contacts, including in non-household settings, with some asked to quarantine for 14 days, while others were required to get tested and isolate until a negative result was delivered.

"As was previously announced before the emergence of the Omicron variant, most people who come into contact with a confirmed case outside their home won't have to self-quarantine, but the Department of Health will continue to manage emerging outbreaks of concern and 'superspreader events' and can impose a quarantine period on contacts on a case-by-case basis, depending on evidence," the department said.

The severity and transmissibility of the Omicron variant remains unknown at this point, with health authorities scrambling to determine its spread.

Victoria recorded 1,312 new cases on Wednesday, with 303 people in hospital.

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8 December 2021

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