Victoria records 12 new coronavirus cases and one death overnight as Daniel Andrews scraps plans to ease Melbourne’s lockdown and concedes the city won’t be reopened on October 19
- Victoria has reported 12 new COVID-19 cases and one death overnight
- Stage Four restrictions will also stay in place in Melbourne next weekend
Victoria has recorded 12 new coronavirus cases and one death overnight with Stage Four restrictions in Melbourne to remain in place next weekend.
Several COVID-19 outbreaks have ended a downward trend in infections, meaning the next step out of restrictions will not go ahead on October 19 as hoped.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday called on Melbourne residents to remain hopeful and stay the course on restrictions, saying some rules may ease on that date, even if less significantly than hoped.
‘We always want these numbers lower, faster,’ he said.
‘We will beat this second wave, but we’ve got to do it properly.’
Victoria has recorded 12 new coronavirus cases and one death overnight with Stage Four restrictions in Melbourne to remain in place next weekend (pictured, a COVID-19 pop-up clinic set up at Kilmore Soldiers Memorial Hall)
Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday (pictured) called on Melbourne residents to remain hopeful and stay the course on restrictions, saying some rules may ease on that date, even if less significantly than hoped
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton was upbeat on Saturday about the possibility of eradicating community transmission from the state.
‘It’s all of the immediate responses to clusters, and if you can get on top of each of those and wrap the public health response around each and every one of those, then you end those chains of transmission and they’re gone forever,’ he said.
Public health authorities decided weeks ago that the two-week rolling daily case average needed to drop to five, with less than five mystery cases, for lockdowns in the city to ease in line with regional Victoria.
Currently the average is 9.5.
Melbourne residents are yearning for more freedom to leave their homes, to hold public gatherings of up to 10 people and for hospitality and retail business to increase trading.
Families have been kept apart for months because of the five-kilometre travel limit.
Victoria reported 14 new cases on Saturday, slightly up from 11 cases the day before.
It was the third consecutive day with no deaths, with the state toll standing at 809 and the national figure at 897.
The number of active infections is 192 with 21 one of those in hospital and only one in intensive care.
Saturday’s media briefing was the premier’s 100th consecutive daily update on the pandemic.
Prof Sutton said the Box Hill cluster had grown to 10 with five new cases from one family.
The Kilmore cafe cluster has grown to six on Saturday but the Chadstone Shopping Centre outbreak, to which it is linked, recorded no new cases.
The premier was again peppered with questions during the Saturday press conference about releasing his phone records relating to March 27, to potentially clear up who made the decision to hire private security guards for hotel quarantine.
He brushed off questions as usual, saying it was job of the hotel quarantine inquiry to make findings on the matter.
Opposition leader Michael O’Brien said there was no reason why the state couldn’t open safely and sooner if it copied New South Wales’ strategy.
He said the five-case average required was an ‘arbitrary’ number.
More to come