Covid Victoria update: CHO warns of massive increase in Covid, more deaths

With more than 20,000 active cases in the community and new “mutant” strains, health experts are once again warning Victorians to brace for a spike in Covid deaths and hospitalizations over the festive period.

Data updated on Friday showed the state recorded more than 24,000 cases last week, while there were 671 cases requiring hospitalization in an average of seven days.

The health director’s weekly report, also released Friday, said the average of 14 deaths a day represented a 62.5 percent increase from the previous month.

“Covid-related deaths continue to rise and this is expected to continue after periods of high transmission in the community,” the health director wrote Friday.

The seven-day average for patients in intensive care is 28, according to the update, while there were 707 Covid patients in hospital on Friday.

The report said that while the current wave was driven by the Omnicron variant, a group of unidentifiable variants has accounted for 21 percent of cases.

“The genomic perspective is changing rapidly and is difficult to predict with tests for newer subvariants, particularly XBF, which outperform other subvariants by several weeks.”

“This has contributed to an increase in hospitalizations, placing continued demand on the healthcare system.”

Of the 637 Covid-related deaths recorded in Victoria over the past three months, 49.6% were unvaccinated.

Likewise, of the more than 4,000 Covid hospitalizations over the past three months, 30.1% were not vaccinated.

Victorians are reminded that they are eligible for two free rapid antigen tests from any state testing site until December 31.

Originally published as an update from the health chief, it warns that deaths from Covid have soared

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