A baby is fighting for life after testing positive for coronavirus at the neo-natal unit in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
Two parents and a worker have also tested positive to the deadly disease in the latest cluster to hit Australia’s second-biggest city.
Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services said that all babies, staff and parents on the ward will be tested for the deadly disease.
It comes as Victoria suffers a record 532 new cases of coronavirus as Premier Daniel Andrews threatens to shut down entire industries in the next stage of restrictions.
Six more Victorians have died overnight, including five residents in aged care and a man in his 50s. A total of 245 people are in hospital with 44 in intensive care.
Premier Andrews warned that Melbourne’s six-week lockdown, which began on July 9, may need to be extended as it fails to stop the virus spreading.
A baby, two parents and worker have tested positive at the neo-natal unit in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne (pictured)
He urged people not to go to work if they are ill after outbreaks were discovered in meatworks, aged care homes, law firms and other workplaces.
‘We have too many people who have symptoms and are going to work. That is what is driving these numbers up,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘The lockdown will not end until people stop going to work with symptoms and instead go and get tested because they have symptoms.’
The Premier said the next stage of restrictions ‘may include’ shutting down industries where outbreaks are happening such as the freight, logistics and warehousing sectors.
‘Next steps may well have to include closing a number of these industries if we continue to see people attending work,’ he said.
Deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said the virus is ‘deeply embedded’ in Melbourne. Pictured: ADF troops and police in Melbourne on Sunday
ADF personnel and Victorian police officers are seen patrolling the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on Sunday
Residents are seen wearing masks in the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne
Medical staff dispose of clinical waste at the St Basil’s Home for the Aged Care in Fawkner which has had an outbreak of COVID-19
The case total is higher than Sunday’s count of 459 as a second wave of the deadly disease continues to ravage the state.
National deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said the lockdown should have brought case numbers down by now but coronavirus is ‘deeply embedded’ in Melbourne.
‘The virus is deeply embedded within the community in Victoria,’ he told Nine’s Today program.
But Dr Coatsworth said there are some signs for hope as the lockdown succeeds in preventing movement.
‘We know that Victorians in those lockdown zones are mixing far less, the movement data shows us we’re about where we were in that first wave when the curve started to flatten.
‘The other bit of silver lining is that those numbers, whilst deeply concerning, are bouncing between about 350 and 450 a day and certainly we’re not seeing doubling during the week, which has to be a good thing.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison today said Victoria ‘has a long way to go’ before the huge daily totals are reduced.
‘In Victoria, there is still a long way to go. We are still seeing case numbers at elevated levels and so, as we have seen from other jurisdictions, when you get community-based transmission, it does take some time to get that down.
‘We saw that in the UK. We saw it in Europe. We have seen it in other places,’ he said.
A residents wears a mask in Melbourne as the state’s outbreak gets worse
There are fears that Melbourne’s six-week lockdown, which began on 9 July, will need to be extended as it fails to stop the virus spreading. Pictured: Medical staff dispose of clinical waste at the St Basil’s carehome
A cyclist is seen wearing a mask along the Yarra River in Melbourne on Sunday
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) today said Victoria ‘has a long way to go’ before the huge daily totals are reduced
Mr Morrison said Premier Daniel Andrews ‘will be taking advice’ from health experts on whether lockdown will need to be extended.
Hundreds of Victorian aged care residents and staff are battling COVID-19 while families struggle to check on their loved ones, with the death toll expected to rise in the nation’s hardest-hit state.
Mr Morrison called on Victorians to follow the state’s lockdown rules to help stop community transmission.
‘When you have problems in aged care, it is a function of the community transmission,’ he said.
‘If you want to protect the most vulnerable in our community, that is why it is so important.’
Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said the second wave was ‘difficult and complex’ to deal with.
‘Certainly, these are very challenging numbers, we’re at a very challenging stage with this wave,’ he said.
Professor Sutton said this wave is different to the first because most patients were younger, meaning they go to work.
‘Our areas of transmission are occurring in workplaces, mostly essential workplaces,’ he said.
He warned of more deaths in aged care homes which have suffered outbreaks.
There are now 84 cases linked to St Basil’s Home for The Aged in Fawkner; 77 in Epping Gardens aged care; 62 in Menarocklife aged care in Essendon; 53 in Glendale aged care in Werribee; 57 in Kirkbrae Presbyterian homes in Kilsyth; and 50 in Estia aged care in Heidelberg.
New South Wales on Monday recorded 17 new cases. Four of the new cases are linked to the funeral gatherings cluster, three are household contacts of cases associated with Thai Rock Wetherill Park, and two are under investigation. Eight are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.