Why ALL of Victoria could be in lockdown by the end of the week
- Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has warned of return to Victorian lockdowns
- Infectious diseases expert Robert Booy said this could occur by end of the week
- Victoria has recorded 191 new daily cases – worst local COVID transmission rate
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has warned Victoria could be placed into total lockdown again if a COVID-19 outbreak can’t be contained in Melbourne housing commission towers.
Residents are being stopped from leaving their homes in more than 40 suburbs in Melbourne’s north and west.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to announce 191 new cases overnight, which would be Australia’s highest rate of local transmission since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Should the outbreak worsen, the state’s 6.6million residents could be locked down again, reversing the easing of restrictions that began in late May.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt (right with Today host Karl Stefanovic) has warned Victoria could be placed into total lockdown again if an outbreak can’t be contained in Melbourne housing commission towers
Mr Hunt, a Victorian from the Mornington Peninsula south-east of Melbourne, said a total, state-wide lockdown was an option.
‘I don’t think that anybody can rule out that if the disease continues to spread, there could be further restrictions,’ he told Today show host Karl Stefanovic on Tuesday.
‘It’s very important to be open and honest about that.
‘At this stage, it appears primarily urban Victoria but we actually have to respond to the facts as they occur and we’ve always identified this notion of rings of containment of isolating the hot spots.’
Infectious diseases expert Professor Robert Booy, a senior fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, agreed that Victoria would be locked down again if the outbreak in inner north-west Melbourne was not contained by the end of this week.
Residents are being stopped from leaving their homes in more than 40 suburbs in Melbourne’s north and west. Pictured are health workers outside a public housing tower in North Melbourne
‘Because the incubation period of the virus is a minimum of five days, the impact of what happened on Saturday and Sunday won’t be known until the end of the week,’ he told Melbourne radio 3AW broadcaster Neil Mitchell.
‘If, at the end of the week, we’re still seeing surges and increases in numbers there will be a response to that.’
Mr Andrews called a meeting of the COVID-19 Crisis Council of Cabinet on Tuesday which was discussing further measures to combat the second wave.
Since May 25, Victorians have been allowed to host 20 people at a house gathering, including those who live there.
On July 1, however, 37 suburbs in Melbourne’s north and west were placed into lockdown with a further four added on Saturday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected announce 191 new cases overnight, which would be Australia’s highest rate of local transmission since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured are more health workers outside a housing commission block in North Melbourne