Victoria is set to record almost 400 new coronavirus cases as experts call for state to move into a ‘New Zealand-style stage four lockdown’
- On Monday Victoria suffered six deaths and a record 532 new virus cases
- Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said that figure could mark the peak
- Doctors have warned than a New Zealand-style lockdown may be needed
Victoria is set to record 384 new coronavirus cases and six more deaths today amid calls for harsher restrictions.
On Monday the state suffered six deaths and a record 532 new cases.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said that figure could mark the peak of the crisis but The Australian Medical Association Victoria warned that if numbers do not come down then a Stage Four ‘New Zealand-style lockdown’ would soon be needed.
Victoria is set to record fewer than 400 new coronavirus cases today. Pictured: Melbourne
Masks are now compulsory in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire. Pictured: a man walks through the Melbourne CBD on Monday in front of Australian Defence Force personnel on duty to help with the coronavirus response
This graph shows how Victoria’s second wave sprang up in late June. The state recorded zero new cases on June 5
‘What New Zealand did for a month is that they closed pretty much all businesses other than pharmacies, medical clinics, grocery stores, petrol stations and really curtailed a lot of retail shopping and a lot of businesses,’ President Julian Rait told 3AW on Monday.
‘That’s the model that I would look to and clearly they were able to achieve elimination through that with a month of such measures.
‘I am not suggesting that is necessarily possible now in Victoria with the number of cases but I would suggest that stronger measures for a shorter period might be a preferable strategy to months and months of what we have got at the moment.’
After 22 deaths in three days, Professor Sutton said he hoped the numbers would continue to decrease.
‘Modelling, with our effective reproduction number that I have seen most recently, suggests that today should be the peak,’ he told reporters on Monday.
‘I’m not going to sit back and say today is the peak. We have to see what happens in coming days.’
Premier Daniel Andrews said people who are going to work sick – including those who work at aged care facilities – are the ‘biggest driver’ of the state’s second wave.
He warned the state’s six-week lockdown, which started on July 8, would not end until people stop going to work with symptoms.
Mr Andrews even flagged the possibility some industries could be shut down.
‘If we were to continue to see outbreaks, if we were to continue to see people quite obviously attending work when they shouldn’t be, then every option becomes on the table,’ he said.
Ambulance officers remove a resident from the St Basil’s Home for the Aged in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner on Monday
Australian Defence Force personnel and Victoria police officers patrol the Royal Botanic Gardens on Sunday, ensuring everyone wears face masks
Monday’s deaths included a woman in her 90s, a man and a woman in their 80s, a man and a woman in their 70s and a man in his 50s.
Five of the deaths linked to aged care outbreaks.
Victoria has reported 58 deaths in the past six weeks, taking the state’s toll to 77 and the national figure to 161.
Mr Andrews on Monday night pleaded with young people to stay at home.
‘This virus doesn’t just affect older people,’ he wrote on Facebook.
‘Young, fit and otherwise healthy people are struggling to breathe.’
Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos echoed the premier’s sentiments.
‘This is not an older person’s disease. A quarter of infections we are seeing are young people in their 20s,’ she said.
‘People in their 60s only represent six per cent.
‘This is a highly contagious virus that can strike anyone in our community regardless of their age, regardless of their circumstances.’
A For Lease sign is seen on Smith Street, Brunswick, as a record number of shops go out of business in Melbourne
VICTORIA’S COVID-19 NUMBERS FOR JULY 27
* Total cases reached 8696 of which metropolitan Melbourne makes up 8086 while 463 are from regional Victoria
* 532 new cases, and the 22nd consecutive day of a triple-digit increases, taking active cases across the state to 4542
* Six more deaths, bringing the state’s toll to 77 and the national figure to 161.
* Their ages ranged from a man in his 50s to a woman in her 90s.
* Five of the deaths have been linked to aged care outbreaks.
* 683 active cases across 61 aged care centres.
* 400 active cases among health care workers.
* 245 people in hospital and 44 in intensive care.
* More than 1.5 million tests have been processed to date – or one in five Victorians