The locked up Melburnians could be released in two weeks, with experts predicting the average number of daily cases to drop below five over the next two weeks.
Victoria recorded just 11 new infections on Monday and two deaths – the lowest number in three months – pushing Melbourne’s 14-day average to 34.4, well below the state’s target of 50, which was the mark of the lifting of the restrictions.
According to Daniel Andrews’ targets, restrictions will be relaxed in Melbourne on September 28, but the lockdown will not be fully lifted until after October 26 with a 14-day average of five or fewer coronavirus cases.
Nancy Baxter, head of population and global health at the University of Melbourne, estimates that the state average will be below five in just two weeks.
Professor Baxter hopes this will see the state reopen “a few weeks earlier.”
The locked-down Melbourne residents could be released by mid-October, as experts predict cases will drop below five in the next two weeks. Pictured: Women marching through Footscray during the Sunday protests
Victoria recorded just 14 new infections on Sunday, the lowest number in three months. Pictured: Police talk to a protester on Sunday
“It’s going to take at least a week and a bit from now, because even though we are down to almost zero, we have the tail, the numbers from the last 14 days, which are in addition to our averages,” he said. she told the Herald Sun.
Catherine Bennett, director of epidemiology at Deakin University, agreed with Professor Baxter and said this was due to improved testing and tracing of the condition during the second wave.
Ms Bennett also believes Victoria could fall below the magic number of five cases by the end of September and hopes that will give the government ‘confidence to reset some markers’.
University of Melbourne professor Tony Blakely is not as optimistic about the fall as some of his counterparts, predicting that daily cases will drop to ten by September 28.
“We are on the right track if the recent past predicts a near future,” said Blakely.
“If we are aiming for a strict removal, which I am led to believe we are, and that is consistent with opening borders and a hot spot strategy, then we should consider opening the third stage. before October 26. “
Children on scooters enjoy the warm weather at Elwood Beach in Melbourne over the weekend
Large numbers of police arrive at Chadstone shopping center as they respond to a small group of protesters who have appeared in the supermarket
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 26,898
Victoria: 20 042
New South Wales: 4,200
Western Australia: 662
South Australia: 466
Australian Capital Territory: 113
Northern Territory: 33
TOTAL CASES: 26,898
CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 903
Updated: 8:50 p.m. September 20, 2020
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said Sunday’s low cases were a “cause for great optimism and positivity across metropolitan Melbourne”.
Mr Andrews has said the path to relaxing the rules will be constantly reviewed, but he stands firm with his “safe and stable” approach.
“It’s irrefutable proof that this strategy works,” he said at Sunday’s press conference.
“There is no good opening too early. There is nothing good in letting our frustrations get the better of us.
“All that means is that whatever the Melbourne metropolis has given, whatever everyone has done to produce these numbers low, but not yet low enough, will count for nothing. “
Optimism has grown among small businesses in Melbourne, with a survey showing 35% now believe the Victorian economy will be better in a year.
This compares to just 17% in August, estimating that the state’s economy will improve by then, according to the Sensis Business Index.
More also believe the national economy will recover, with 26% saying it will be better in a year, up from 14% last month.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said Sunday’s low cases were a “cause for great optimism and positivity across metropolitan Melbourne”
Residents are seen at Elwood Beach in Melbourne during the COVID-19 crisis this weekend
Despite the Prime Minister’s optimistic tone, frustrations were evident on Sunday as anti-lockdown protests continued in Melbourne.
More than a dozen protesters illegally gathered at the Chadstone Mall and played a rendition of John Farnham’s You’re The Voice before police intervened.
Two people were arrested and six were fined, adding to Saturday’s 16 arrests and 21 fines after up to 100 people gathered in Melbourne’s seaside suburb of Elwood.