Victoria hangs on a knife edge as state records 64 new Covid cases and Dan Andrews refuses to confirm whether lockdown will be extended
- Victoria announced 64 new Covid cases on Saturday morning, a slight fall
- Indications are Victorian health authorities will not budge on lockdown
- Victoria is due to exit lockdown on September 2, but an extension expected
- It entered a sixth lockdown on August 5 to try and contain the Deltra strain
Victoria is expected to extend its sixth Covid lockdown although new cases fell slightly to 64.
The state is due to exit the latest lockdown on September 2, but an extension is widely expected.
Of the new cases recorded, 49 are known to be linked to existing cases in the current outbreak and there are 15 ‘mystery’ cases where the origin of the infection is not yet known.
Thirty-six of the new cases were in quarantine throughout their infectious period. In total Victoria has 701 active Covid cases.
Victoria is expected to extend its sixth Covid lockdown although new cases fell slightly to 64 in Saturday’s announcement
Of the 64 cases recorded on Saturday, 49 are known to be linked to existing cases in the current outbreak and there are 15 ‘mystery’ cases
Victorians took 55,333 Covid tests on Friday – a jump of nearly 5,000 on the previous day – and 35,753 vaccines doses were administered.
The new numbers for the previous 24 hours were announced on social media on Saturday morning.
Victoria recorded 79 new cases on Friday, up from 45 on Thursday.
Melbourne entered its sixth lockdown of the pandemic on August 5, over three weeks ago.
Victorians took 55,333 Covid tests on Friday and 35,753 vaccines doses were administered
Melbourne entered its sixth lockdown of the pandemic on August 5, over three weeks ago
Regional Victoria followed the capital into lockdown on August 21 after a spike in community transmissions.
Victorian authorities are refusing to be drawn on whether a lockdown extension is a foregone conclusion, as coronavirus cases remain stubbornly high.
The state’s sixth lockdown, which was initially announced for seven days, is scheduled to end on September 2.
Melbourne entered its sixth Covid lockdown on August 5 and regional Victoria followed on August 21
Victorian authorities are refusing to be drawn on whether a lockdown extension is a foregone conclusion, as coronavirus cases remain stubbornly high
However, it appears increasingly likely to be extended again given the high number of mystery cases and people infectious in the community.
Health Minister Foley said it was too early for officials to make a call and could not provide clarity when asked if Victoria would be in lockdown until hitting 70 to 80 per cent vaccination rates.
‘I don’t know about that but I know there have been public health measures for the last 18 months in place,’ he said on Friday.
COVID commander Jeroen Weimar said the state’s outbreak was ‘not wobbly’, but conceded Melbourne’s west was ‘a significant area of concern’, with 46 of Friday’s 79 new infections coming from there.
‘We are at a crossroads,’ he said.
More help has arrived for COVID-hit Shepparton as the regional town’s outbreak worsens and spreads close to the NSW border.
Ten new cases were linked to the Shepparton outbreak on Friday, taking the cluster to 79 since it first emerged a week ago.
It has also spread to nearby towns after an aged care worker in Echuca, an hour’s drive from Shepparton, became infected by her partner.
‘In some regards, we’re not quite on top of it,’ Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Matt Sharp said.
About 16,000 residents are self-isolating in the region, sparking staff shortages for food distributors, supermarkets and pharmacies.
Hundreds of food packages were delivered to vulnerable members of the Shepparton community on Friday, while Coles has donated two semi-trailers full of products to a local food share agency.