Super spreader theory raised in Vic cases

Jenny Mikakos says a super spreader could be a factor in the Melbourne COVID-19 outbreak.
Jenny Mikakos says a super spreader could be a factor in the Melbourne COVID-19 outbreak.

A super spreader could be behind Victoria's second spike of coronavirus that has locked down Melbourne suburbs.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos raised the theory on Friday while being pressed on whether she had any responsibility for the hotel quarantine debacle driving COVID-19 case numbers up in Victoria.

"There seems to be a single source of infection for many of the cases that have gone across the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne," she told reporters.

"It appears to be even potentially a super spreader that has caused this upsurge in cases."

Genomic sequencing revealed on Tuesday a big proportion of Victoria's new coronavirus cases were related to infection protocol breaches in hotels hosting returned travellers.

Undisclosed cases of Victorians testing positive and attending family gatherings had previously been highlighted by Premier Daniel Andrews.

But Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen said there was no definite evidence of a super spreader carrying the virus across metropolitan Melbourne.

"What we have evidence of is that the current outbreak is looking more (like) what we call a point source outbreak," she said.

"There's a number of things that can cause an outbreak that looks like this, and that can be multiple introductions or a single introduction that causes multiple outbreaks."

While health authorities work through the theories to determine what might have caused Victoria's second peak, the government is also working to bring their COVID-19 message to every community.

Ms Mikakos on Friday revealed more than 10,000 people have refused to be tested amid a suburban testing blitz that started on June 25.

"Now that might be for a range of reasons including that they may have already been tested in a different location - we are analysing that data," she said.

"It is concerning that the reports that I have received are that some people believe that coronavirus is a conspiracy or that it won't impact on them."

Some 95,000 doors have been knocked on during the blitz in a bid to warn residents of the risk.

More than 880,000 COVID-19 tests have been done in the state since the start of the pandemic, with 24,430 tests conducted on Thursday alone.

Australian Associated Press