Victoria is set to report TWO HUNDRED more COVID-19 cases overnight as community transmission spirals out of control – and the entire state could go into enforced lockdown
Victoria is expected to report up to 200 new cases of coronavirus as the state braces for further lock down.
Premier Daniel Andrews will announce the figure in a press conference this afternoon and sources have told the Herald-Sun the total is around 200, which would be the state’s worst figure since the pandemic began by far.
The highest total of any state is 212 recorded by New South Wales on 28 March – but many of those were returned travellers and their close contacts.
Mr Andrews is currently in a meeting of the COVID-19 Crisis Council of Cabinet which is discussing further lockdowns.
Mr Andrews is currently in a meeting of the COVID-19 Crisis Council of Cabinet which is discussing further lockdowns
Since last Monday Victoria has detected 632 new patients, only 14 of whom are returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine. Pictured: Police at a Melbourne housing estate
So far twelve Melbourne postcodes including 300,000 residents have been forced back into lockdown as the state battles what appears to be a second wave of the deadly disease.
Earlier today federal health minister Greg Hunt said extending the lockdown was on the table.
Nine public housing towers blocks including 3,000 residents have been put under hard lockdown, meaning they cannot leave for any reason.
Residents say they feel let down by a lack of communication, food and supplies.
The Melbourne Public Tenants Association, on behalf of the 3000 residents in the Flemington and North Melbourne estates, say residents have been left in the dark since the state government’s hard lockdown was enforced on Saturday.
Residents look from a window at one of nine public housing estates locked down due a spike in COVID-19 coronavirus numbers in Melbourne
Victoria’s staggering rise in locally acquired coronavirus cases is unprecedented. Pictured: Covid testing in Melbourne on Monday
In a letter to the federal Acting Chief Medical Officer, Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services, Premier Daniel Andrews and Victoria Police, the association describes how residents were forced to wait 24 hours for food and other essentials like baby formula, nappies and medication.
When the food arrived it was ‘at best, questionable pre-packaged meat-like food items that do not look suitable for human consumption’.
‘Furthermore, the delivery of the food was tossed to the floor on a single piece of paper in front of the residents’ apartment doors in small portions of one food item per household,’ the letter said.
NSW reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday from 9746 tests, including a man who tested negative in hotel quarantine before returning home to Newcastle on Sunday and developing respiratory symptoms. He and his close contacts have been placed into isolation.
The other six cases were in travellers in hotel quarantine.
It comes ahead of Wednesday’s NSW-Victoria border closure, which was agreed to by the state’s premiers and the prime minister.
Workers in hazardous material overalls are seen outside of a public housing tower along Racecourse Road, Melbourne that was placed under lockdown due to the coronavirus disease
Healthcare workers carry boxes to high rise housing commission on Sunday during lockdown
There are 55 NSW-Victoria border crossings over more than 1,000 kilometres.
Two probable coronavirus cases are being investigated in the Albury area as NSW prepares to close its border with Victoria over the COVID-19 outbreak in parts of Melbourne.
NSW Health on Monday evening said the two cases had returned positive results on preliminary testing in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.
The department on Tuesday said the two cases were undergoing further testing but had not yet been included in the state’s confirmed case load.
One suspected case had recently been to Melbourne but returned before hotspot travel restrictions came into force.
NSW Health is setting up a pop-up clinic in Albury from Tuesday and is urging residents in the area with even mild symptoms to get tested.
‘There is no excuse’: Gladys Berejiklian demands open borders with all states except Victoria
After closing the border to Victoria. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has consistently argued against border closures, said other states have ‘no excuse’ for excluding residents of NSW, which recorded only 10 new cases on Monday, all from hotel quarantine.
‘I also stress to the other states, now that New South Wales has taken this decision and given where we are, there is really no excuse for any other state, apart from Victoria, to have any border closures with New South Wales,’ she said.
‘I urge all the other states of Australia, in our national interest, to think about that.
Premier Gladys Berejikian has demanded that all states and territories except Victoria open their borders with New South Wales
‘Given this move by the New South Wales Government, we now anticipate that the rest of the nation will be able to deal with each other directly without any hard border closures.’
Queensland is due to remove its hard border on 10 July except to Victorians while the Northern Territory is due to open up on the 17 July, except to residents from Melbourne hotspots.
South Australia said it would open up to eastern states on 20 July but has postponed that decision due to the Victorian outbreak.
Tasmania is targeting the 24 July but said it will ‘keep an eye’ on developments, while WA is yet to announce any relaxation of border measures.
Last month Ms Berejiklian slammed the Queensland government for refusing to open its borders to boost the economy.
Asked if she felt ‘silly’ because she was now herself shutting the NSW-VIC border she said ‘not at all’ because the situation in Victoria is ‘very different’ as it involves widespread community transmission.