Western Australia has reported 26 new local cases of COVID-19, with one other case still under investigation. The source of six of those cases is not yet clear. There were an additional 22 cases from returned travellers.
The number of local cases is down from the 51 reported on Friday, which was the biggest number of cases in WA in the pandemic so far.
But the number of people tested on Friday was very low. Earlier in the week testing numbers were close to 15,000, but that fell to about 1,600 on Friday.
Police Minister Paul Papalia said despite Saturday’s fall in numbers, the government was expecting case totals to keep increasing.
“Omicron is here and it is only going to grow in numbers, there will be more cases and increasingly higher numbers,” he said.
Mr Papalia claimed case numbers would already be much higher had the border opened, as previously planned, a week ago.
“Had we not had our borders closed we would be at thousands of cases a day right now — possibly tens of thousands,” Mr Papalia said.
“That is what happened in Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane when they opened. “We are protecting vulnerable people and giving them an opportunity to get a booster.”
The overall growth in case numbers in recent days has prompted the Australian Medical Association to again call for additional restrictions to be imposed to slow the spread of the virus.
Premier Mark McGowan said on Friday that extra restrictions, on top of the existing mask mandate, would be considered over the coming days.
On Saturday, Mr Papalia on flagged the possibility on density limits at venues. “As case numbers increase dramatically, you take measures to lessen that impact on the health system and other services,” he said.