Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has been criticized for ‘toxic double standards’ after refusing to fine five families behind a COVID-19 cluster in Melbourne while punishing protesters as Victoria’s case toll continues to rise lower.
Victoria recorded 14 new cases and five deaths on Sunday, the smallest daily increase since June and on the tenth day in a row, the state saw a daily increase in infections below 50.
Five households in Clyde, Cranbourne North, Hallam and Narre Warren South are linked to 34 active cases, with families believed to have triggered the cluster by violating coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Andrews has been criticized for defending his decision not to sanction people at the center of the outbreak, while anti-lockdown protesters were fined and arrested at rallies in Melbourne on Saturday.
Daniel Andrews (pictured) has faced double standards after fining anti-lockdown protesters but refusing to punish those hiding behind a COVID-19 cluster in south-east Melbourne
Victoria recorded just 14 new infections on Sunday, but has 34 active cases linked to five Melbourne families allegedly violating coronavirus restrictions
Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien called the move “hypocrisy”.
“Andrews shouldn’t protect those who spread the virus while fining others… Double labor standards are as toxic as this virus,” he told The Herald Sun.
“It is a shame that Labor has locked innocent Victorians under curfew while those who break the law and spread the virus are getting away with scotchless.
“It’s the same Andrews hypocrisy that saw teenagers fined for learning to drive while 10,000 Black Lives Matter protesters were ignored. “
Victoria Police issued 21 fines and arrested 16 protesters as up to 150 people clashed with officers at rallies in Elsternwick and Elwood, 7 miles from Melbourne’s CBD, on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Mr Andrews told reporters at a press conference that fining families linked to the cluster in the south-east of the city could prevent them from cooperating in contact tracing talks.
“I’m happy to admit that this may seem like a counterintuitive point. Maybe we would all feel a little better if they got slapped with a fine, but the value of the information that lets you take a test result and then find the 33 other people who got it, is much more than $ 1652, ”he said.
Woman arrested by police during anti-lockdown protest at Elwood Beach on Saturday
Up to 100 people gathered at Elsternwick Park in Brighton dispersed in Elwood in front of a long line of officers at the site, 7 miles from Melbourne’s CBD. Pictured: Protesters and officers during Saturday’s protests
A woman could be seen screaming as two officers pulled her hands behind her back during the rally
Victoria recorded 21 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths on Saturday.
Daniel Andrews urged the Covidiots not to rally at protests scheduled for Saturday in the city or to “do anything to undermine” his progress in the fight against COVID-19.
Protests were announced by rally organizers around 10:30 a.m. – half an hour before kickoff at the state library, and a second followed closely behind at 12:00 p.m.
Law enforcement teams surrounded Elsternwick Park and included officers from Public Order Response, Mounted Unit, Air Unit and Highway Patrol.
Cries about Prime Minister Daniel Andrews and coronavirus restrictions have been heard throughout the split-off protests, which have been described as “chaotic.”
One photographer said there was “a lot of racing and little protest.
It comes as Mr O’Brien last week introduced a motion of censure in Parliament in an attempt to oust the prime minister, claiming the Andrews government had lost Victorian support for its handling of the pandemic.
Lower house MPs will vote on the proposal next month.
The 14-day average for metropolitan Melbourne has dropped and now stands at 39.3 as the state moves to normal COVID. In the Victoria area, the 14-day average is only 1.9.
The Melbourne metropolis is strictly closed on the fourth stop – limiting Melburnians to more than 3 miles from their homes and imposing a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.
Victoria recorded 14 new cases and five deaths on Sunday, the smallest daily increase since June and on the tenth day in a row the state saw a daily increase in infections below 50
The cluster that impacted the five households of Hallam, Clyde, Narre Warren South and Cranbourne North was born on September 4
Several rallies have taken place in Melbourne in recent weekends.
Victoria Police responded with a strong presence – handing out dozens of fines and making arrests.
“Let us not lose sight of the fact that this week we have seen, day after day, not the 725 cases that we had five and a half weeks ago – we have made very significant progress,” Mr. Andrews to reporters.
“We have the regional opening in Victoria. People have to be positive and optimistic, this strategy works, and therefore, do nothing to undermine it.
A wave of cases in the Casey and Dandenong area on Melbourne’s south-eastern shore has been linked to five households in the Afghan community.
As residents of the city are still under a strict Fourth Stage lockdown, it is believed the infected group may have broken stay-at-home orders.
Public health authorities are rushing to stop the growth of infections in the two municipalities, which now have 90 active cases.
“Members of these households are visiting other households,” Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 test commander Jeroen Weimar said.
“It’s this limited number of contacts, relatively infrequent contact between these five households that now means we have 34 people in five homes who are living or living with a very real threat from the coronavirus. “
The cluster in the southeast of the city first emerged on September 4, with cases now spreading to Dandenong Police Station and a number of industrial sites.
The Casey and Dandenong cluster is testing the capacity of COVID detectives. Pictured: Healthcare workers are seen at a coronavirus testing center in Cranbourne on September 17
The success of Melbourne’s ongoing lockdown could be at risk with a new cluster in the city’s southeast. Pictured: A coronavirus testing center in Cranbourne on September 17
Man with dog questioned by two policemen in Dandenong area
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said on Friday that the actions of the family involved in the cluster were “disappointing”.
“Five kilometers is one thing and visiting others is the real problem here,” he said.
“The rules are in place for a reason and whoever undermines them, undermines the whole strategy and that means the rules will be in effect longer. “
“I know a lot of Victorians, when you see examples of people breaking the rules it is disappointing, it makes you angry,” Mr Andrews said.
“You have to look at the big picture here.
“We don’t want a situation where people don’t have a feeling of trust and, in fact, you know, the feeling that they have to tell us the whole story as quickly as possible. This is what we need.
Despite the new cluster, the overall number of cases in Victoria continues to decline.
Health officials are urging everyone in South East Melbourne to carefully monitor their health and get tested immediately if they feel unwell