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Dead Victorian was undetected COVID case

undetected covid woman die
Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton says many COVID-19 cases are still going undetected. Photo: AAP
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A Melbourne woman who died in her home was an unknown COVID-19 case, with an estimated one in three community infections in Victoria currently going undetected.

The health department on Tuesday announced it had been notified of the deaths of the two women in their homes.

The deaths were officially tallied on Wednesday and were the state’s first since November 30 last year.

One was a woman in her 60s from the Hume local government area and was in the second week of her infectious period.

The other was a 49-year-old Northcote woman.

COVID commander Jeroen Weimar said the 49-year-old was confirmed as coronavirus positive only by a coroner.

It is not known if either woman had underlying health conditions, though both are believed to have been unvaccinated.

The local government area of Hume has the lowest full vaccination rate (22.4 per cent) of any Victoria council area, while Darebin – which takes in the suburb of Northcote – is among the lowest with 29.7 per cent.

“It seems wrong to say that, maybe, from a messaging point of view, something good comes from such a terrible tragedy,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“But [she was] 49 and they don’t think the person was chronically unwell.

“They may have had some issues to deal with but it speaks more, I think, to the fact that you can get this at any age. And if you are unfortunate, for whatever reason, you can finish up being really sick.”

As Victoria reported another 120 new infections, chief health officer Brett Sutton warned many more cases were still going undetected.

“It is safe to assume that it is an additional third of true cases out there not yet identified,” he said.

The state’s ambulance union, meanwhile, has complained about not having access to a central register with known home quarantine locations across Victoria.

“There isn’t a system in place that ensures all emergency workers – police, fire and ambulance – are given information about a quarantine site,” Victorian Ambulance Union secretary Danny Hill told ABC radio.

Mr Andrews said he was in discussions with Ambulance Victoria to determine if the older woman’s COVID status was not shared with paramedics through its emergency dispatch operator ESTA.

-AAP