Indian virus myth is completely busted

The ‘Indian’ virus variant myth completely busted

Ever since the state went into lockdown 4.0, the mainstream media and some officials started labelling the COVID-19 variant n transmission to be “Indian”. The mainstream media was more loose in its usage. Rather than following the WHO guidelines and using the correct terminology for the variant ‘Delta’ – the B1.617.2 strain, it was extravagantly reporting the virus to be “Indian”.

No doubt, the COVID-19 variants – ‘Kappa’ – the B1.617.1 strain and ‘Delta’ – the B1.617.2 had wreaked havoc in India but to conveniently label the virus (and its variants) as “Indian”, was professionally negligent and socially irresponsible.

It was only after vigorous protests by the local Indian descent community leaders, the narrative seems to have been corrected.

And finally the “Indian” myth has been completely busted. The Delta variant of COVID-19 circulating in Melbourne has been genomically linked to a returned traveller from Sri Lanka in hotel quarantine.

He is believed to be around 40 years old Victorian Sri Lankan man living in Glen Eira in Melbourne.

On Tuesday, acting Victoria Premier James Merlino confirmed Victorian public health teams had matched the strain to the man who arrived in Melbourne from Sri Lanka on May 8 and tested positive on the same day.

Melbourne to take baby steps out of lockdown 4.0

Lockdown ends tomorrow night midnight

The state has recorded just one new local case of COVID-19 and it Melbourne will come out of lockdown 4.0 tomorrow at 11.59pm.

The contact tracers have established this case is linked to existing outbreaks and had been in quarantine during their infectious period.

BT believes there will be travel restrictions, a 25km radius limit, to prevent Melburnians from travelling to regional Victoria over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. Mandatory mask-wearing indoors and limits on outdoor public gatherings will also stay.

No household partying yet as private household gatherings remain prohibited.

Other rules for Melbourne after midnight Thursday:

  • Schools can resume face-to-face learning;

Masks

  • Masks are no longer be required outdoors unless social distancing is impossible.
  • Masks remain mandatory indoors, including on public transport and in offices;

Gatherings

  • Funerals are limited to 50 people, weddings to 10, indoor religious ceremonies are capped at 50;
  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people permitted;

Office work

  • Offices can return, up to 25 per cent capacity, or a cap of 10 people.
  • People should keep working from home if they can;

Retail, Restaurants & Cafes

  • Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service with up to 100 people per venue and a maximum of 50 inside;
  • Entertainment venues can open, with density limits and caps.
  • Shops can reopen with density limits of one person per four square metres.
  • Beauty therapy can resume for treatments where masks can be worn;

Community

  • Community facilities will open with density limits and caps.
  • Community sport can return to training.

These new restrictions  will apply for a week, with a further easing planned for June 17.

“Subject to the public health advice, the epidemiological conditions through the next week, we expect next Thursday night that the original metro divisions will come down and we will be able to travel more freely around the state again,” Acting Premier James Merlino said.