The eight new Covid-19 cases in Melbourne could be more worrying than the 173 cases in Sydney, according to a disease expert.  

Australian National University epidemiologist Peter Collignon said he had been ‘more concerned’ about the cases reported in the Victorian capital because he was waiting for confirmation of the source of the outbreak. 

Authorities have ‘presumed’ the outbreak is linked to the New South Wales cluster, which began in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and have yet to confirm the connection through genomic testing. 

New South Wales reported on Friday three new Covid-19 cases, all from western Sydney with an unknown source, while Victoria reported zero.  

Victoria broke its 61-day Covid-free streak after two women in their 40s and a 70-year-old tested positive on Wednesday. 

A further five people tested were revealed on Thursday, bringing the state total up to eight.

The eight new Covid-19 cases in Melbourne could be more worrying than the 173 cases in Sydney, according to a disease expert (pictured, Melbourne residents on New Years Eve)

The eight new Covid-19 cases in Melbourne could be more worrying than the 173 cases in Sydney, according to a disease expert (pictured, Melbourne residents on New Years Eve)

The eight new Covid-19 cases in Melbourne could be more worrying than the 173 cases in Sydney, according to a disease expert (pictured, Melbourne residents on New Years Eve)

The original three women had visited the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock, Melbourne, the same time as a Victorian returned from Sydney on December 21. 

Health Minister Martin Foley is still waiting on the results of the genomic testing to confirm if the outbreak is linked to New South Wales.  

Professor Collignon said until then, the connection between the two states is a ‘presumption’.

‘In some ways, I’m a little more concerned by the cases in Melbourne than Sydney,’ he told news.com.au.

‘That it’s from NSW is a presumption at the moment and that’s why we need genomic testing given there’s been restrictions in NSW for quite a while, as well as between Sydney and Victoria and that the virus is not that widespread among people in Sydney.’ 

Australian National University epidemiologist Peter Collignon said he had been 'more concerned' about the cases reported in the Victorian capital (pictured, Covid-19 testing clinic at Summer Hill, Sydney's inner west)

Australian National University epidemiologist Peter Collignon said he had been 'more concerned' about the cases reported in the Victorian capital (pictured, Covid-19 testing clinic at Summer Hill, Sydney's inner west)

Australian National University epidemiologist Peter Collignon said he had been ‘more concerned’ about the cases reported in the Victorian capital (pictured, Covid-19 testing clinic at Summer Hill, Sydney’s inner west)

Professor Collignon is concerned the outbreak in Melbourne could have originated from a different and mysterious source.

‘Mystery cases worry me the most,’ he said. ‘For every one mystery case, there is another person you haven’t found yet.’ 

All eight cases in Melbourne have been linked back to the Thai restaurant, but it has not been officially established how it began. 

Victoria has announced it will take a hard border approach to NSW and will ban all residents from entering the state from 11.59pm on January 1.    

Anyone who arrives back in Victoria from anywhere in NSW on Friday has to be tested and go into isolation for 14 days.

After that, returning Victorians will go into hotel quarantine. 

Professor Collignon slammed the border closure as ‘not sustainable’. 

The state endured three months in strict Stage Four lockdown, suffering 820 of Australia’s 909 Covid deaths. 

Authorities have 'presumed' the outbreak is linked to the New South Wales cluster, which began in Sydney's Northern Beaches, and have yet to confirm the connection through genomic testing (pictured, Sydney residents at Circular Quay on New Years Eve)

Authorities have 'presumed' the outbreak is linked to the New South Wales cluster, which began in Sydney's Northern Beaches, and have yet to confirm the connection through genomic testing (pictured, Sydney residents at Circular Quay on New Years Eve)

Authorities have ‘presumed’ the outbreak is linked to the New South Wales cluster, which began in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and have yet to confirm the connection through genomic testing (pictured, Sydney residents at Circular Quay on New Years Eve)

Health Minister Martin Foley on Thursday urged Victorians not to travel to NSW and for any Victorians in the previous NSW green zone to return immediately (pictured, residents in Melbourne on New Years Eve)

Health Minister Martin Foley on Thursday urged Victorians not to travel to NSW and for any Victorians in the previous NSW green zone to return immediately (pictured, residents in Melbourne on New Years Eve)

Health Minister Martin Foley on Thursday urged Victorians not to travel to NSW and for any Victorians in the previous NSW green zone to return immediately (pictured, residents in Melbourne on New Years Eve)

Health Minister Martin Foley on Thursday urged Victorians not to travel to NSW and for any Victorians in the previous NSW green zone to return immediately.

‘You do not want to be caught on the wrong side of a rapidly evolving situation,’ he said.

Victorians can continue to return from Canberra with a green zone permit, while more details will be announced for border communities and people who are travelling through NSW to return to Victoria. 

Acting premier Jacinta Allan apologised for the border closure but said Victorians who are in NSW should not be surprised.

‘We have been sending a very strong message for the better part of a week-and-a-half … advising people to think very carefully about their travel to NSW,’ Ms Allan said on Thursday.

‘These difficult decisions are about protecting the community, protecting and keeping case numbers low and doing everything we can to lock in the gains we have made over the course of 2020.’

The three women had visited the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock, Melbourne, the same time as a Victorian returned from Sydney on December 21

The three women had visited the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock, Melbourne, the same time as a Victorian returned from Sydney on December 21

The three women had visited the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock, Melbourne, the same time as a Victorian returned from Sydney on December 21

Victorians can continue to return from Canberra with a green zone permit, while more details will be announced for border communities and people who are travelling through NSW to return to Victoria (pictured, Covid-19 testing clinic at Dandenong in Melbourne)

Victorians can continue to return from Canberra with a green zone permit, while more details will be announced for border communities and people who are travelling through NSW to return to Victoria (pictured, Covid-19 testing clinic at Dandenong in Melbourne)

Victorians can continue to return from Canberra with a green zone permit, while more details will be announced for border communities and people who are travelling through NSW to return to Victoria (pictured, Covid-19 testing clinic at Dandenong in Melbourne)

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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