A new variant of Covid-19 has made its way from India to Australia and is more contagious than others.
According to infectious disease expert Professor Robert Bui, there is no evidence that the new strain, called Centaurus, is any more dangerous.
Professor Bui said people should be concerned and wary if the number of cases rises in the middle of winter across the country.
“This is a call to action,” he said.
“We need to do what we did six months ago, better wear masks, maintain social distancing, wash hands and work from home where possible.”
“Numbers are likely to rise to the level of January,” Prof Bui said.
He warned of the impact on already struggling health systems if the rate of transmission increases.
“If we can reduce transmission rates by 10 or 20 percent, we will take the burden off hospitals and general practitioners,” he said.
Elderly people experiencing Covid symptoms may also be given antivirals during a telemedicine consultation.
The new variant is a descendant of strain BA2.
The time to re-infect people who have already recovered from Covid has been reduced nationwide from 12 weeks to 4.
Given the rate of transmission from new variants, people can expect to be retested for Covid a month after the initial infection if they develop new symptoms.
Originally published as New Covid variant raises new concerns amid winter wave