Victoria has reportedly recorded 403 new coronavirus cases on Thursday – the state’s third worst day during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of new cases trails only Wednesday’s record figure of 484 cases and the 428 infections confirmed by Premier Daniel Andrews last Friday.
Mr Andrews is expected to make the official confirmation of new infections in a press conference with the state’s health minister Jenny Mikakos at 11am.
The continued spike in cases comes as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Thursday morning she would not rule out extending its ban on travellers from Sydney’s COVID-19 hotspots to all residents from the Harbour City.
People wear protective face masks in Melbourne on Thursday after it became the first city in Australia to enforce mask-wearing in public
‘I will be getting further updates today,’ she said.
‘If we have to declare further hotspots, we will declare further hot spots.’
Earlier on Thursday, a top Australian doctor has choked back tears as he described the impending disaster in Victoria due to the latest coronavirus outbreak.
Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone issued the grim warning when he appeared on the Today show on Thursday.
‘Our residents in aged care facilities are just a heartbeat away from calamity,’ he said.
‘We have seen this astronomical explosion in cases there. The PPE is not being worn. Infection control procedures are not being implemented in some.
A man wearing a protective face mask leaves a train station in Melbourne on Thursday. Victoria has reportedly recorded 403 new coronavirus cases, the third-highest figure for the state since the pandemic began
Mr Andrews is expected to announce the 403 new cases later on Thursday morning – a figure that trails only Wednesday’s record figure of 484 cases
‘This is just absolutely unsustainable and we are just going to see the (case) numbers continue to rise.’
Karl Stefanovic appeared stunned after Dr Bartone issued his warning.
‘It’s bleak,’ the host replied.
‘That man is considered, that man is knowledgeable, and that man is incredibly worried,’ Stefanovic said.
‘Incredibly worried. He’s saying we need help. We need help here in Victoria.’
Victoria is the only state grappling with widespread community transmission at this point, while New South Wales is seeing some cases from unknown sources but on nowhere near the same scale as in Melbourne.
A further 484 cases were diagnosed in Victoria in the 24 hours to Wednesday – the largest single-day spike in Australia since the pandemic began.
Today show hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon appeared stunned after Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone issued the grim warning
Newly diagnosed cases in other states have been largely linked to returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Stricter social distancing measures have now been introduced in Victoria in a bid to slow the spread of the disease.
From Thursday police in Victoria will issue $200 on-the-spot fines to anybody in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire who does not wear a face mask while out in public.
Residents within the locked-down suburbs can only leave home for four reasons – daily exercise, shopping for essential goods, to give or receive care or to travel to work.
Victorians could be cut off from the rest of Australia for two years as the state battles a second outbreak of coronavirus
Bartone’s grim warning comes as Melbourne struggles to control an unprecedented coronavirus outbreak
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is reportedly desperate to reopen his state to avoid economic ruin, but is resolved to only do so when cases drop dramatically.
Senior government figures told The Australian Mr Andrews wanted daily case numbers ‘in the single digits’ before reopening the economy.
‘It all comes down to the data. Every option is open,’ a senior government source said.
Almost nine in ten Victorians who tested positive to COVID-19 between July 7 and July 21 were still leaving their houses while their symptoms developed.
Even after being tested, 54 per cent still left their homes while waiting for their results, Mr Andrews said.
From midnight, wearing a face mask will be mandatory throughout metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire and failure to do so punishable with a $200 fine
Pictured: A map shows Sydney’s coronavirus hotspot sites as the virus spreads throughout NSW
Royal Melbourne Hospital this week received an order for an additional 22 ventilators to bolster its intensive care units, which already have 42 beds.
Hospitals in the state are preparing for an influx of of coronavirus patients given hospital admissions appeared to be about 10 days behind the diagnoses of new cases.
Australians aged 20 to 29 had the highest number of infections, while people aged over 70 had the lowest.
Women aged between 20 to 29 and 60 to 69 were the most likely of females to be infected, while men aged 60 to 79 were the most likely of males.
And while the bulk of the infections were acquired overseas during the period studied, 98.8 per cent of cases diagnosed in the last week have been acquired locally.
VICTORIA’S ACTIVE CASES BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
Hume – 308
Brimbank – 289
Melbourne – 272
Wyndham – 370
Moreland – 191
Casey – 103
Moonee Valley – 212
Stonnington – 38
Banyule – 130
Whittlesea – 166
Melton – 119
Boroondara – 43
Darebin – 88
Greater Geelong – 18
Mornington Peninsula – 11
Monash – 37
Glen Eira – 18
Port Phillip – 34
Yarra – 119
Maribyrnong – 95
Frankston – 12
Manningham – 39
Hobsons Bay – 65
Bayside – 15
Kingston – 26
Whitehorse – 48
Greater Dandenong – 44
Knox – 14
Cardinia – 18
Mitchell – 14
Greater Shepparton – 2
Maroondah – 13