'Son of Omicron': Victoria detects a 'handful' of COVID-19 sub-variant cases

Victoria has detected a number of "son of Omicron cases" as NSW and Victoria have reported falls in coronavirus hospitalisations.

covidA COVID-19 testing clinic at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney

A COVID-19 testing clinic at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. Source: Getty

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."

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 fall across NSW, Victoria

Victoria reported 953 COVID-19 hospitalisations on Saturday, with 114 in ICU, a decline from 988 people hospitalised with COVID-19 on Friday including 114 people in ICU. 

There were 12,250 new infections and 39 deaths in the state on Saturday, following 12,755 infections and 39 fatalities on Friday. 

New South Wales reported 2,693 COVID-19 hospitalisations on Saturday, with 186 in intensive care, down from 2,737 people hospitalised with the virus on Friday and 189 people in ICU. 

However, new infections and fatalities rose, with NSW reporting 13,354 new cases of COVID-19 and 49 deaths on Saturday compared to 13,333 cases and 35 deaths on Friday.

Queensland has recorded 818 hospitalisations, with 54 people in ICU. The state also reported another 10,391 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths overnight.

In South Australia, 283 people are in hospital and 29 in ICU.

There were 1,740 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths overnight in the state.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said this figure is the lowest number of new cases reported this year.

Tasmania, meanwhile, recorded 683 new COVID 19 cases in the latest reporting period.

There are 17 people in hospital in Tasmania, with seven patients receiving care specifically for COVID symptoms. One person is in intensive care as a result of the virus.

The Australian Capital Territory has reported 61 hospitalisations, up five patients from the previous day, while five people remain in intensive care. 

The territory recorded 620 new infections and zero deaths.

The figures come a day after Australia recorded its highest death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic since the first case was detected in the country two years ago, with 98 fatalities confirmed on Friday.

3 min read
Published 29 January 2022 at 9:19am
Source: SBS