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Victoria records eight COVID-related deaths, 10,053 cases as hospitalisations decrease

Victoria recorded eight more COVID-related deaths and 10,053 more as hospitalizations continued to decline.

The cases – down from 10,589 on Sunday, 12,250 on Saturday and 12,755 on Friday – include 6,485 infections that were self-detected via rapid antigen tests and 3,568 positive results via a PCR laboratory test.

The state’s total number of active cases was 76,335, down from 78,294 on Sunday.

The number of hospitalizations with COVID-19 has also decreased from 16 to 873 patients.

102 people are in intensive care – nine fewer than on Sunday – with 33 of them on a ventilator.

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More than 93 per cent of Victorians over the age of 12 have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 38 per cent of those over 18 have received three doses.

The latest numbers come as many state public school students return for their first semester on Monday, with all staff and students encouraged to take rapid antigen tests twice a week.

The state government introduced 4.5 million rapid antigen tests to schools with another 2 million on the way this week.

A vaccination campaign targeting children aged 5-11 was held over the weekend, with 15 primary schools offering pop-up clinics and some state-run centers allowing children.

‘A more optimistic picture’

On Sunday, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the significant drop in the number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria was cause for confidence, despite ongoing deaths linked to the virus.

Over the weekend, the state’s seven-day average was 12,659 infections, a significant drop from the previous week’s number of 19,000.

Andrews says the trend, along with a reduction of more than 100,000 active cases across Victoria over the same period, paints “a more optimistic picture than I had expected until our modeling”.

Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews. credit: James Ross/AAPIMAGE

Urging Victorians to receive their third vaccination, Andrews said he expects authorities to redefine what “full vaccination” means and to discard the term “booster” as soon as this week.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the relevant federal agencies confirm that these are three doses,” he told reporters.

“Not two plus a bonus.”

Despite the revelations on Friday of a few cases of the Omicron sub-variable in Victoria, Mr Andrews said he had no advice calling for “particular concern” with BA.2.

However, he and his government will continue to seek expert advice on the continuing evolution of the virus.

– with AAP

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