Two new MIQ cases in NZ, Melbourne outbreak warning

Pablo Tucker
May 25, 2021

Health authorities in Melbourne, capital of Australian state of Victoria, are tracking down the source of the latest outbreak of COVID-19 following report of five new local cases since Monday.

Professor Sutton confirmed the COVID-19 variant in the Whittlesea outbreak is B1617, which was first identified in India in October previous year.

They include a man in his 30s, a man in his 70s, a woman in her 70s and a preschool-aged child.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the state should brace for more cases and exposure locations in the coming days as one of the cases was "likely to be quite infectious" as they moved around the community.

Melburnians are being warned the number of cases could grow.

Officials are concerned there might be a missing link between the cluster and a man who returned to Melbourne from quarantine in Adelaide and tested positive earlier.

Anyone in NSW who has visited Melbourne since May 10 and has been to one of the exposure sites has been urged to contact NSW Health to ensure they are meeting the state's isolation and testing requirements.

The Department of Health on Tuesday afternoon listed five stores within the shopping centre in Maribyrnong where an infected person had visited.

There is new advice for people who attended the Highpoint Shopping Centre exposure site, with CCTV footage allowing the Department to provide more specific information on which individual stores the positive case visited.

Thousands have been ordered to self isolate and undergo Covid-19 tests with health alerts issued for several sites, including one of the largest shopping centres in the country.

One of today's confirmed cases attended Broadmeadows Hospital on May 21.

Acting Premier James Merlino has announced that from 6pm AEST on Tuesday private home gatherings in metropolitan Melbourne would be limited to five people per day, public gatherings to 30 people, and everyone aged 12 years and older would need to wear face masks indoors, unless an exemption applies.

The outbreak ends Victoria's run of zero cases for almost three months and prompted New Zealand to suspend quarantine-free travel with the state for 72 hours from Tuesday evening, while the neighbouring state of South Australia has imposed travel restrictions.

Mr Merlino said checking in to venues would be compulsory from Friday, May 28.

"There might still be cases from the train trip, they are probably not infectious, but it would be great to identify them".

Schools and workplaces remain open and Victorians who live in greater Melbourne can still travel to regional Victoria.

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