Victoria records 13,091 COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths as active cases drop

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Victoria recorded 13,091 COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 14 deaths, as new data shows the state’s current COVID wave is hitting older Victorians harder than previous case spikes.

There are now 1002 people in hospital with the virus in Victoria, with 44 people on a ventilator and 120 in intensive care. More than 32,435 PCR tests results were returned on Saturday.

Amanda Umanski along with her boyfriend Chandler Baddeley getting a Covid-19 test at the Western Health Melbourne Showgrounds testing hub, Ascot Vale. Credit:Chris Hopkins

Victoria’s active cases dropped about 12 per cent compared to Saturday’s numbers, with 191,058 people now infected with COVID-19. It’s the first time the state has been under 200,000 active cases for almost two weeks.

The Health Department said on Saturday night that around 35,000 historic rapid test cases would be removed from the active case totals this weekend as part of the “transition to a permanent rapid antigen test reporting system”.

Of the new cases reported on Sunday, 6625 came from PCR tests, 6466 while were from self-registered rapid antigen tests.

According to health data obtained by The Sunday Age, the median age of COVID-19 patients in Melbourne hospitals in January is 62 years and 67 years in regional hospitals.

There have been more than 300 COVID-19 deaths in Victoria since December 22. Of about 10 per cent of deaths analysed thorough genomic screening, six were with Omicron. Their median age was 67.5. Another 26 died with the Delta variant.

With 26,581 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Victoria’s state-run hubs on Saturday, 31 per cent of over-18s in the state have received a booster dose.

Data obtained by The Sunday Age showed that just 45 people who have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have needed a hospital bed due to illness from the virus – less than 5 per cent of the 1029 coronavirus patients in hospitals on Saturday. The majority were aged 70 or over.

“I haven’t seen anyone really unwell who has had a booster dose,” said Dr Kasha Singh, an infectious diseases physician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

It’s a trend reflected in UK studies, which have found three doses of COVID-19 vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalisation with the disease by more than 80 per cent compared to those that are not vaccinated. Two doses are also protective against hospitalisation, with rates 65 per cent lower compared to those who were unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, recent analysis of Victorian ICU data showed unvaccinated patients made up between 22.2 to 37.2 per cent of admissions, despite less than 6 per cent of the adult population being unvaccinated.

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