Covid has claimed the lives of 156 Victorians in the past week alone as the state grapples with a slight spike in virus deaths.
However, just under 5000 new cases were recorded in the state over the past seven days, a reduction of more than 37 per cent.
The 341 cases in hospital registers a reduction of more than 27 per cent.
The average daily number of new cases this was 702, down from 1130 last week.
But the average number of people who died from the virus each day this week, 22, means there has been a 5.5 per cent increase in Covid deaths in the past month compared to the previous month, a report from the chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, reveals.
“There continue to be positive signs the sustained peak of the November – December wave has passed, with Covid cases and hospitalisations declining again this week,” Professor Sutton said.
He said a surge in deaths was expected following recent spikes in infections.
“Sadly, Covid-related deaths have increased again.”
“As flagged in previous updates, an increase in reported deaths was expected following recent periods of high transmission in the community.”
Unidentifiable new strains of the new virus make up 17 per cent of wastewater detections, Professor Sutton said.
“Transmission is being driven by multiple omicron variants,” he said.
The report states the dominant strain is the XBF variant, making up 35 per cent of detections, followed by BQ. 1 / BQ. 1.1 as 16 per cent.