‘Son of Omicron’ is showing up in Victorian tests

Health authorities are at pains to stress that 'Son of COVID' is a modified Omicron, not an entirely new strain.

Health authorities are at pains to stress that 'Son of COVID' is a modified Omicron, not an entirely new strain.

Victorian health authorities have detected “a handful” of Omicron sub-variant cases, as the state posts 12,250 new COVID-19 infections and 31 deaths.

The total number of active cases in the state is 79,836, down from 101,605 reported on Friday.

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said authorities had detected “literally a handful” of cases with the Omicron sub-variant, which has been dubbed ‘Son of Omicron’.

“We’re obviously following the international developments on the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron closely,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

“It’s still very early days in understanding exactly how that’s moving around, I’m aware there’s a very small number of cases that have been detected here in Victoria.”

‘We’ll adjust our strategy’

He moved to assure Victorians son of Omicron was “not a new variant”.

“As more information comes in, we’ll adjust our strategy if we need to,” he said.

“We’re all discovering new things every day here in Australia, just as we do elsewhere in the world.”

Hospitalisations with COVID-19 have fallen by 35 to 953 patients on Saturday.

There are 114 people in intensive care, with 39 of those on a ventilator.

Just two days before schools go back, Mr Weimar said 4.5 million rapid antigen tests had been sent to schools with another two million to be distributed in coming days.

Students and staff are being encouraged to take twice-weekly RATs once school returns.

A vaccination blitz targeting children aged five to 11 has begun at 15 Victorian primary schools, with several state-run vaccine hubs offering walk-up jabs for kids.

More than 37 per cent of Victorians aged over 18 have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster, with 22,139 doses administered at state hubs on Friday.


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