Victoria records six new coronavirus cases and two deaths, but lockdown could be extended further

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Victoria has only recorded six more COVID-19 cases overnight and two more deaths from the virus – but the numbers may not yet be low enough to warrant further easing restrictions in Melbourne.

The 14-day moving average in metropolitan Melbourne rose to 9.9 from 10.6 on Wednesday, while the number of cases with an unknown source fell from 13 to 12.

The Andrews government has set an ambitious target of a two-week moving average of just five cases per day if the lockdown is to be eased by October 19.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said there had been a “significant epidemic” in Chadstone, east Melbourne, which rose to 31 infections.

He added that the number of tests remained high – 16,429 residents were tested for COVID-19 in Victoria on Tuesday alone.

There are 16 Victorians in hospital with the virus, two of whom are in intensive care – while the state’s coronavirus death toll has risen to 809.

A woman is seen exercising on The Tan in Melbourne on Saturday. The 14-day moving average in metropolitan Melbourne fell to 9.9 on Wednesday – but that figure is unlikely to be low enough to warrant further easing of restrictions in the city.

The number of active cases in elderly care on Wednesday – 58 – is also lower than on Tuesday.

Mr Andrews said health officials might consider opening Melbourne if the 14-day moving average was just above five, but they would look at the context of the cases.

“In general terms, it is possible that we will get a number higher than our target, but we have some certainty and some comfort with the story behind these cases,” he said.

“If you followed well enough and in the last three days of the 14 day period you had eight, 10, 12 cases, but they were being taken care of by older people. [we would consider that]».

Despite the drop in cases, Mr Andrews stressed the importance for Victorians to get tested if they have symptoms of coronavirus – given the relatively low rates of influenza transmission in the community.

“There are so few cold and flu symptoms in the Victorian community right now,” he said.

“If you have these symptoms, chances are you have them, and there is absolute certainty that if you walk into a work environment, almost any work environment, with symptoms, you will. will propagate. “

As part of the easing of the Third Stage restrictions, Melbourne’s five million residents would be allowed to leave the house without restraint and gather outside in groups of no more than 10.

Up to 10 people can also eat together in restaurants and cafes, which are only allowed to serve take out and deliveries under current rules.

Friends are sunbathing in their COVIDSafe circles in St Kilda Beach on Saturday.  The Andrews government said Melbourne needed a two-week moving average of just five cases per day if the lockdown were to be relaxed

Friends are seen basking in the sun in their COVIDSafe circles at St Kilda Beach on Saturday. The Andrews government said Melbourne needed a two-week moving average of just five cases per day if the lockdown were to be relaxed

State health director Professor Brett Sutton said on Monday that the premature relaxation of restrictions would risk Victoria losing control of “mysterious cases”.

Regional Victoria has already moved from the second to the third stage of the removal of restrictions on September 15, but Melbourne can only do so if the targets are met.

Former Victorian Prime Minister Jeff Kennett this week launched an extraordinary attack on Mr Andrews, demanding he resign over his handling of COVID-19 and accusing him of not ‘caring about democracy’.

A heavy police presence is pictured in Melbourne on Saturday as they await a potential protest against the lockdown rules.  As part of the easing of the third stage restrictions, Melbourne residents could congregate outdoors in groups of no more than 10 people

A heavy police presence is pictured in Melbourne on Saturday as they await a potential protest against lockdown rules. As part of the easing of the third stage restrictions, Melbourne residents could congregate outdoors in groups of no more than 10 people

Kennett appeared on Sam Newman’s You Cannot Be Serious podcast, where the couple criticized Mr. Andrews for his Stage Four restrictions and failed hotel quarantine program.

“It was his pride, his sense of total authority that brought the state to its knees. He’s a totally out of control man because he thinks he’s totally in control, ”said Kennett.

“Imagine if I was responsible for one death, let alone 800, I would have been kicked out of town. Based on his performance to date, he doesn’t care about the administration and implementation of democracy under the Westminster system.

Former Victoria Prime Minister Jeff Kennett said Daniel Andrews 'didn't care about democracy'

Former Victoria Prime Minister Jeff Kennett says Daniel Andrews “doesn’t care about democracy”

Kennett, who served as Prime Minister of the State of Victoria from 1992 to 1999, said Mr Andrews’ only goal was a “medical solution” even though there will be no vaccine for. “long time”.

“There are businesses that have closed, businesses that have no hope, lives that have been lost – they don’t care,” he said.

“The Prime Minister must realize that he has caused immeasurable damage psychologically, commercially and that he has in fact unfortunately contributed to 800 deaths. “

Kennett said the public “got gutsy” and predicted Melbourne residents would increasingly ignore the restrictions if they are not relaxed as planned on October 19.

Kennett said Mr. Andrews' only goal was a

Kennett said Mr Andrews’ only goal was a “medical fix” even though there won’t be a vaccine for “a long time.” Mr Andrews is pictured during a press conference on Tuesday

Melbourne’s 14-day average, which is crucial in easing lockdown restrictions, fell to 10.6.

The average must be less than five for the restrictions to ease on October 19.

“As we go into summer, in hot weather people have been locked up for nine months and they want to come out and they will come out,” he said.

“There is a surge of anger. The people accepted it, as they should have. But this is replaced by anger.

Kennett, who served as Prime Minister during the Victorian era from 1992 to 1999, said the public `` got guts '' and predicted Melbourne residents would increasingly ignore the restrictions if they were not relaxed as planned on October 19.

Kennett, who served as Prime Minister in the Victorian era from 1992 to 1999, said the public “got gutsy” and predicted Melbourne residents would increasingly ignore the restrictions if they didn’t. were not relaxed as expected on October 19.

“It’s like a pressure cooker – if the Prime Minister doesn’t let off steam quickly enough to allow us to start living our lives again, I’m telling you what, there is a very real chance that this pressure cooker will explode.”

“People have to go out, they have to move. If the Prime Minister thinks he is going to prevent the Victorians from starting to exercise their rights to get out of these closed environments, then he is wrong.

Kennett, who now works as a media commentator, said he believes the Andrews government should be held responsible for deaths from COVID-19 due to the wasted quarantine at hotels.

“I am of the opinion that this government – because it has failed so dramatically in the administration of the hotel quarantine system … could be held accountable in the same way as any person in the private sector”, said he declared.

Kennett appeared on former footballer Sam Newman's You Cannot Be Serious podcast (pictured), where the couple slammed the current prime minister

Kennett appeared on former footballer Sam Newman’s You Cannot Be Serious podcast (pictured), where the couple slammed the current prime minister

Kennett also told the podcast that the investigation into the hotel quarantine fiasco was a “sham.”

“They played the investigation on a hiatus, and the investigation was a sham anyway. It was just a talkfest and so many obvious issues weren’t discussed with ministers and officials, ”he said.

“Forget the investigation, it’s a waste of time. It was a third class act.

Victoria recorded 15 new cases of coronavirus and one additional death on Tuesday, bringing the national toll to 895.

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