Reach Indians and South East Asians living in Australia

A Covid sub-variant to cause another surge of covid positive cases in the coming weeks

 A Covid sub-variant to cause another surge of covid positive cases in the coming weeks

Despite taking precautions, we end up being under the weather due to seasonal changes or flu from time to time; hence, it would not be wrong to say that we have become accustomed to it. However, who knew that the arrival of a deadly virus could bring about devastating consequences leading to long-lasting impacts?

The Australian government’s relentless effort and hard work bore fruition when the Covid-positive cases gradually declined. Therefore, the common perception was that we succeeded in winning the battle against Covid, but the truth proved to be the exact opposite. Besides, health experts and scientists had already warned about the fact; they pointed out that the SARS-Cov 2 virus will mutate and generate subvariants.

Hence, even though we might notice a temporal decrease in infections, it won’t go away permanently, which is what the country witnessed in terms of increasing reinfection rates. Furthermore, experts have mentioned that we might notice another wave of Covid-19 infections in the upcoming weeks due to the ongoing number of positive cases and reinfections.

The New South Wales Chief Health Officer, Kerry Chant, released a report on November 3, 2022 (Thursday) that stated the potential surge of infections. Additionally, she highlighted that the local information related to the Covid-19 spread and the overseas cases indicate that the rate of infections will increase in the upcoming weeks.

Furthermore, we cannot ignore how New South Wales’s increasing infection cases coincide with Victoria’s Covid-19 reinfection cases; the state recorded a twenty-five percent increase last week. Therefore, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, stated that the recent instances indicated another surge of the Covid wave.

Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, confirmed the fact that the next wave has already started in the country. Also, she said that we might observe another wave early next year; however, if we compare the present time scenario with last year, we will find out that states report cases only on a weekly basis throughout Australia.

Also, official government reports indicate that in October 2022, last week’s data show increasing Covid cases in all territories and states except Queensland. On the other hand, New South Wales health data showed 9,707 positive cases in the week ending October 29, which is an eleven percent increase from the previous week.

Similarly, NSW reported 68,888 tests indicating the increasing trend of positive cases from 7.3 percent to 9.2 percent. However, taking the reports as a hint, Professor commented that the numbers are an underestimate as some cases are asymptomatic. Additionally, people don’t need to report a Covid positive test in the state, but the health authorities suggest doing voluntary reporting.

Moreover, in the week ending October 29, Covid hospitalisations declined to an average of 32 every week in NSW compared to 33 Covid-positive people in the previous week. Meanwhile, NSW health data highlight that hospitalisations usually lag system onset by a week or even more; therefore, the rise in positive cases has yet to lead to increased hospitalisations.

Covid sub-variant

What is causing the recent Covid-19 surge?

New South Wales hospitals currently have 820 people suffering from Covid and have witnessed 17 Covid-related deaths in October 2022′ last week. Besides, Dr. Chant pointed out that BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variants are common Covid variants causing rising infections. However, doctors and medical experts have noticed an increase in XBB, BQ 1.1 and the B2 sub-lineages.

World Health Organisation media released a report on October 27 that stated that the ongoing variants are sub-lineages of Omicron. Also, it noted that there is no available evidence to suggest that the sub-lineages pose more risk than other omicron lineages. However, the data have been retrieved from a limited number of countries, so it might not apply to some places else.

Professor Bennet noted that the new sub-lineages were related to BA.5, which was responsible for causing most of the infections in Australia in the last few months. Therefore, she is hopeful that it won’t have severe effects because many people have contracted BA. 5, that there is sufficient cross-reactive immunity.

So, what can we do? First, doctors suggest that we get tested for Covid whenever we encounter any symptoms and stay home if we have flu or cold. Moreover, staying up-to-date with our vaccinations is essential as it is the best protection against the latest variants.

Varsha Saini

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