Victoria has recorded 148 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths as pressure to ease Prime Minister Daniel Andrews’ draconian Fourth Stage lockdown continues to increase.
The daily death toll is the lowest since August 15, when there were just four dead.
Tuesday’s announcement by the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services brings the death toll from the virus in the state to 423.
The Prime Minister will provide more details on the confirmed cases and deaths in Victoria over the past 24 hours later today.
Victoria has recorded 148 new COVID-19 cases and just eight deaths as pressure on Daniel Andrews’ draconian stage four lockdown continues to increase. In the photo, masked pedestrians walking near Melbourne’s Tan Track on Monday
Mr Andrews said on Monday Victoria’s state of emergency would be in place for 18 months and that lockdown restrictions would be extended beyond September.
This is despite the state registering its lowest increase in COVID-19 infections in seven weeks with 116 new cases on Monday.
Mr Andrews said the state could not afford to lower restrictions and would extend the state of emergency to 18 months in September, giving the government the power to impose further lockdown restrictions.
“This is not an unlimited extension, it is nothing more than an acknowledgment that this virus will not be finished on September 30,” the Prime Minister said.
“I wouldn’t like anything anymore so that there wouldn’t be a need for rules on September 14, but I don’t think that’s the reality. “
Angry former Victorian prime minister Jeff Kennett on Monday accused Andrews of grabbing “dictatorial powers” after the decision to extend Victoria’s state of emergency to next year.
Mr Kennett, who was Liberal Prime Minister between 1992 and 1999 and is widely credited with transforming the state’s economy, launched a meteoric attack on the incumbent Labor Party and accused it of ‘destroying’ Victoria .
A policeman talks to a man wearing a face mask on Chapel Street in Melbourne city center on Monday
A health worker takes a COVID-19 test at a drive-thru clinic in Ballarat, Victoria on Friday
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has been called a ‘megalomaniac’ after saying he would extend a month of tough lockdowns, which reduced the daily rate of new infections from more than 700 on July 30 to 113 on Monday.
“The Prime Minister said today that he could maintain a state of emergency until we have a vaccine – we may never have a vaccine,” Kennett told Sky News.
Are we all going to be locked up at the will of the Prime Minister? Without checks and balances?
“It’s an act of a megalomaniac.