Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews ruled out the possibility of ending the Covid lockdown on Thursday, after the state on Sunday announced 92 new cases of community transmission, its highest daily total this year.
“Unfortunately, with these kinds of numbers, it’s only fair that we be as outspoken as possible and make it clear to the community that we won’t be able to open, remove all of these rules, in a few days’ time,” he said. Andrews said.
“We will receive advice in the next few days. Decisions will also be made and they will be announced very shortly thereafter as we always have. That’s – that’s tough numbers.
Andrews said Victorian authorities are determined to avoid the massive increase in Covid-19 cases and strain on New South Wales’ healthcare system. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday announced 1,218 new cases of Covid, the highest daily total Australia has seen since the start of the pandemic.
“If you look at the experience of, say, NSW right now, I’m sure there are thousands of nurses, thousands of doctors, who are struggling with the fact that they will have very soon, it seems. there, 1,000 hospital patients, ”Andrews said.
“We can avoid this. We have avoided this until now and are determined to do it again.
“I know there is pain and there is a challenge and it is difficult, but this sheer, completely out of control, is so much more difficult. So much harder.
Of Victoria’s 92 new cases, only 63 have been linked to known clusters. The source of the remaining 29 cases is still under investigation.
Sunday’s announcement brings the total number of active community cases to 773. There are currently 44 Victorians in hospital, including 13 in intensive care and nine who need ventilators.
Victoria Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said the majority of the new cases were associated with the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne.
“More than two thirds [of cases] are associated in the northern and western suburbs and this is by far the largest concentration of cases we have outside of the Shepparton area. “
Authorities are watching a growing cluster in the regional city of Shepparton, which now has 94 total Covid cases, in 37 households. Community members continued to come out in droves for Covid testing: more than 1,300 tests administered in the region on Saturday, bringing the total to 23,000 in this outbreak.
Two school sites in the region that were previously considered hot spots also had their risk factor downgraded, freeing 1,000 primary close contacts from isolation.
Authorities were also closely monitoring an outbreak in Port Melbourne Bay.
But Weimar said there were only four positive cases there on Sunday – all staff logged into the exhibit site at a car wash. Thirty primary close contacts have all been tested and are expected to receive results on Sunday.
Weimar noted that the majority of people who contracted Covid-19 in this outbreak are under the age of 40. Of Victoria’s total of 773 active cases, 171 are under 10 years old and 131 are between 10 and 19 years old.
Another 300 positive cases are people aged 20 to 39.
Andrews on Friday praised Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pledge to equitably distribute vaccines across states and territories, after more than half a million additional doses of Pfizer from Poland were turned over to NSW to help curb the growing epidemic of the state.
“It was about not having a situation where there continues to be preferential treatment as if what Victorians are going through is not real – of course it is. I think the best thing to do is, as these extra stocks come in, send them out using the fairest method, ”Andrews said.
But he expressed frustration that the extra doses of NSW were used so people could picnic.
“I’m sure other state prime ministers would have a similar point of view and it may well be that NSW thinks they’ve had enough extra support now and now is the time not to necessarily push them forward. , because the national plan concerns everything. to travel together. Not a national picnic plan, just take it easy, ”Andrews said.
“The idea of ditching the vaccines so the Victorians can go picnicking, no, that’s not what we’re doing. “