Omicron ‘challenges’ Victoria as a further 61 deaths reported

There were 8937 new virus cases recorded in Victoria on Saturday and more than 66,500 active cases of COVID-19.


The number of people with COVID-19 in Victorian hospitals reached 837 on Saturday. Thirty-eight people were in intensive care and 10 were on a ventilator.

Sutton said Victoria’s case numbers were probably at their peak for the third Omicron wave, and hospitalisation numbers were expected to plateau over the next week or two.

“[People in hospital with COVID] are at very high levels – 800 to 900 – so that’s a huge pressure on our health system,” he said.

“But hospitalisation numbers should also decrease as the case numbers come down.”

On Saturday, 127 COVID deaths were reported around the country, after 157 on Friday and 125 on Thursday.

Infectious disease expert Professor Paul Griffin said there were some promising early signs that Victoria’s infection rate would decrease, but it was premature to declare the wave over.

“I think it’s too early to be confident that we’re past the peak,” he told Nine’s Today program.

“There are still thousands of people in hospital at the moment, and still lots of healthcare staff away as well.

“We have to remember that even after we do pass this peak, this virus isn’t going away. Hopefully, we’ll see some sustained behavioural change, things like mask wearing in high-risk venues … and making sure everyone stays up to date with their vaccines.”

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