Despite the active battle against the COVID-19, the coronavirus continues to mutate in different parts of the world. Victoria is the current epicenter of the disease in Australia and authorities has warned about about the situation could worsen in a matter of days to come.
Within 24 hours, the state reported five new cases during a press conference on Monday aside other cases which increases the number of new cases of the cluster to 51.
In order to curb the spread of the highly infectious disease, the state government enforced a strict seven-day lockdown on Friday after the state capital of Melbourne ended its three-month run of zero community cases.
Melbourne authorities named several schools, supermarkets, department stores and many other public places as among hundreds of exposure sites.
The swelling numbers have raised questions over whether the lockdown will be extended beyond the seven days announced initially.
“The challenge ahead of us is a very, very significant one,” Victorian acting Premier James Merlino told reporters. “We are seeing a small number of cases infecting a large number of contacts.”
The situation was “incredibly serious” and the next few days will be critical, Merlino added.
“I want to be really clear with everyone that this outbreak may well get worse before it gets better.”
According to official statement from the state, the COVID-19 variant which was first detected in India is said to likely be more virulent compared to the original strains as it takes only one day to infect another person unlike the first strains which took about five to six days.
Because of the virulent situation of the strain, authorities are concerned about the virus taking hold in aged care homes after two workers and one resident a the Arcare facility in Melbourne tested positive.
Back in 2020, the deadly virus killed more than 800 people in the state of Victoria causing authorities to enforce the strictest and longest lockdowns to battle the second-want of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Australia has continued to be one of the most successful countries to fend off the COVID-19 outbreak till date as a result of a swift action which includes contact tracing, lockdowns and strict social distancing measures but with that, there were about 22,275 reported cases with 910 fatal cases.
However, the government has come under pressure for its slow vaccine rollout due to supply constraints as well as hesitancy among its citizens to take the AstraZeneca jab after Australia put age restrictions following some cases of blood clots.
The country’s health minister has said a record dose of abut 630,547 doses were delivered just this past week which is more than the number seen four weeks ago. With the latest outbreak, more people in the state of Victoria have continued to get vaccinated. Nationally, 4.24 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered.