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Victoria records 16 deaths and 279 new coronavirus cases as flu infections drop by 85 per cent

Victoria records 16 deaths and 279 new coronavirus cases as flu infections drop by 85 per cent due to draconian lockdown

Another 16 people have died from COVID-19 in Victoria as the state confirmed 279 more cases on Sunday.

The deaths take the total number nationally to 395 and the toll in Victoria to 309.

The state saw an 85 per cent decrease in the number of flu cases this year.

Only 4732 Victorians have contracted influenza this year, compared with 47,180 at the same time in 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed. 

It’s likely the sudden drop in flu cases was caused by Victoria’s stage four lockdown, with social distancing measures and face masks stopping the spread. 

It was not immediately known how many of Sunday’s deaths were linked to existing outbreaks or involved nursing homes, amid increasing concerns for some facilities.

Reports on Sunday said specialist medical teams had entered the Doutta Galla facility at Yarraville after 19 residents tested positive for the virus on Saturday.

As late as Friday, Doutta Galla reported that no further staff or residents had tested positive but said further testing was underway.

Premier Daniel Andrews has refused to rule out taking over more coronavirus-ridden private aged care facilities struggling to provide adequate care.

After sending in public hospital nurses to Glenlyn Aged Care in Fitzroy, Florence Aged Care in Altona North and Kalyna Aged Care in Delahey, the premier on Saturday said the government was ready to take over more sites if needed.

‘I can’t rule out that we will add to that list,’ he told reporters in Melbourne.

‘If we are asked to step in then that is exactly what we do.

‘That’s all about making sure residents get the best care.’

The state recorded a further four deaths and 303 new cases on Saturday.