Covid-19 Australian: Melbourne family who travelled to NSW infected with new Indian variant

Covid-infected family who put NSW holiday spots on alert are revealed to have a new virus variant – as Victoria’s top doctor claims it could have been picked up across the border

  • Family-of-four from Melbourne travelled to NSW’s south coast at the end of May
  • They later tested positive with Covid-19, which is the new Indian Delta variant

A Melbourne family-of-four who travelled to New South Wales were infected with the new strain of the Indian Covid-19 virus, health authorities have revealed. 

A man, his wife and two children had travelled to the Jervis Bay area on the state’s south coast at the end of May before testing positive.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said genomic testing found at least two of the family were infected with the highly-contagious Delta B16172 variant.  

The family visited venues in Gundagai, Goulburn, Jervis Bay, Huskisson and Vincentia and were later diagnosed with Covid-19 after returning home.

A Melbourne family-of-four who travelled to New South Wales were infected with the new strain of the Indian Covid-19 virus, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton revealed

Until Friday, authorities have sequenced the cases in the Victorian outbreak to the Kappa B16171 variant – which is thought to be less deadly than the Delta strain.

The Delta strain, which originated in India and is now the dominant strain in the UK with 12,431 cases, is thought to be just as infectious as Kappa.


The Delta variant is the main variant of Covid-19 that is wreaking havoc across India

Health officials believe the variant has very high transmission rates

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there’s been reports of children becoming severely sick with the variant

The Delta strain is also believed to be more easily transmitted among children 

Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have also seen a rise in cases related to the variant 

The World Health Organisation on Tuesday said it was clear there were ‘greater public health risks’ associated with the Delta variant.

Professor Sutton said the fact Delta cases were unlinked to the rest of the outbreak meant contact tracers now had to scramble to trace the source of transmission. 

He said it was ‘within the bounds of possibility’ the new variant may have been picked up in NSW. 

‘It is not unexpected. The average incubation time of (Covid-19) is about six days. There will be individuals who go through a much more rapid transmission cycle, there will be a longer one,’ he said. 

‘Five or six days puts it in New South Wales, Jervis Bay territory, or indeed earlier.’ 

Professor Sutton said the Indian variant appears to be more transmissible.

‘There are some anecdotal reports of greater illness in children as well as greater increase transmissibility in children we have concerns for that reason,’ he said. 

More to come.