Victoria has recorded 779 new local cases of Covid-19 as the state’s coronavirus outbreak continues to spiral out of control.
There were two Covid-related deaths on Sunday, the Victorian Health Service confirmed.
There were 34,280 doses of the vaccine administered statewide on Saturday with the new cases of the virus detected from 46,322 Covid tests.
It comes after Victorians were told to expect mask warrants and limits on home gatherings to be a part of daily life even after 80% of the population is fully immunized, an expert warned. health.
Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley said on Saturday it would be a “challenge” to reduce the number of cases when the double-dose target of 80% is reached.
Victoria recorded 779 new Covid-19 cases and two deaths on Sunday (pictured, protesters marching at the ‘Millions March for Freedom’ rally on St Kilda beach on Saturday)
Face masks and restrictions on the number of households are expected to remain in Victoria even at a full vaccination rate of 80% (pictured, two women walking in St Kilda in Melbourne)
Mr Foley also conceded that the state is unlikely to achieve 80% first-dose coverage of the eligible population by Sunday, as originally planned, with the figure currently standing at 76.9%.
About 47% of Victorians have received two doses of a Covid vaccine compared to NSW, where 57.8% of those over 16 are fully vaccinated.
Instead, residents will have to wait until next week for a slight easing of lockdown rules, including ending the ban on low-risk sports such as golf and tennis.
Unvaccinated Victorians were encouraged to receive the vaccine with 600,000 doses per week which should be available in primary care clinics from October.
Vaccination centers are expected to be stocked with 265,000 doses per week by the end of October, with health officials examining whether they have enough doses of Pfizer to reduce the spacing between injections from six to three weeks.
The move would bolster efforts to achieve the much-anticipated double-dose rate of 80%, a date slated for November 5.
Health officials have warned of any illegal events on the day of the AFL grand finale on Sunday, over fears public gatherings could cause the number of cases to spike.
About 47% of Victorians are fully vaccinated, according to state government (pictured, woman getting vaccinated at pop-up clinic)
Victoria narrowly missed the fact that 80% of the eligible population received a single dose by AFL Grand Final Day on Sunday (pictured, a woman at a vaccination center in Melbourne)
Meanwhile, Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett has warned that strict restrictions may be needed, even at 80%, to prevent increased transmission rates.
“The key is to reduce the number of cases before relaxing the restrictions and that’s going to take work,” she told The Age.
“We know the virus will be in the community, the question is how much can we live with? “
She said indoor mask warrants can still be enforced even at this threshold, while caps on home gatherings could be enforced and relaxed intermittently to stem outbreaks.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said Victoria’s roadmap to freedom was not a ‘set and forget’ plan
Mr Foley hinted his government could take this approach, noting that Victoria’s roadmap to freedom is not a ‘set and forget’ plan.
‘This [the roadmap] has always been done on the basis that we would continue to look at where the cases were, ”he said.
According to the roadmap, when the 80 percent single-dose milestone is reached, Melburnians who are fully vaccinated can band together in groups of no more than five and the the city’s travel limit will be reduced from 10 km to 15 km.
But Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the roadmap’s original goal was “ambitious” and that he would consider an overnight “countdown” to future dual goals. 70% and 80% dose based on updated data.
“We would expect that, certainly by the middle to the end of next week, we will achieve this [single dose target]’Mr Foley said on Friday.
Vaccination count was initially set to be 80% in Victoria on September 26 – but the state has failed to meet that projected target (pictured, testing in Ballarat, Victoria region this week)
“These projections bounce back on the basis of all kinds of metrics. Let’s redouble our efforts this weekend.
There is more than 600 current exhibition sites across Victoria, including in the regional towns of Wodonga, Warrnambool, Bendigo and Shepparton.
Jeroen Weimar, chief of Covid-19 testing in Victoria, said that while contact tracers in the Victoria area monitor containment rings, contact tracers in urban areas are focusing on “the parameters most at risk “.
“We’re getting to the heart of the matter more quickly, focusing on those high-risk primary close contacts and focusing on those high-risk exposure sites,” he said.
Mr Weimar said several hundred of the 847 cases recorded on Saturday were from “social interactions between households,” which is illegal during the lockdown.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the original roadmap target was ‘ambitious’ and he would consider an overnight ‘countdown’ to future double dose targets. 70 and 80% based on updated data