Just a few days after the health department warned BA.4/BA.5 was set to become Victoria’s dominant variant and would lead to rising hospitalisations and case numbers, the state has recorded 10,777 new cases. 23 people died, and a further 463 are in hospital. Cases previously this week have hovered between 5,000 and the high 7,000s this week, with today’s figure representing a significant jump. The last time Victoria recorded more than 10,000 cases was on June 2. NED-5250-Victoria’s Covid-19 statisticsWastewater detections of BA.4/BA.5 have more than tripled since late May, rising from 5 to 17 per cent on June 23.The health department said it would overtake another variant known as “stealth Omicron”, BA.2, in the next few weeks, following the pattern of its growth in NSW and Queensland.BA.4/BA.5 is known for its greater ability to evade both immunisation and previous Covid infection as well as causing a high viral load quickly – making it more infectious.While there is a drop in the vaccine’s protection against infection when compared to previous variants, immunisation still significantly reduces the risk of hospitalisation and death.
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