Victoria has been called out for its slow approach to lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions as experts claim it could actually be fuelling a spike in cases.
The state recorded on Thursday 18 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest jump in the country this week, bringing the total to 1,780.
The wave of cases comes despite the fact Victoria was slower to lift lockdown restrictions than other states, including a delayed return to school, a stricter cap on patrons allowed in venues and greater emphasis on working from home.
Dan Andrews has been labelled ‘Chairman Dan’ by the state’s Liberal Party Opposition for what they claim are his draconian COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Now, microbiologist Peter Collignon claimed the strict lockdown measures have done more harm than good, as people were more likely to break the rules because they were considered to be too severe, Daily Telegraph reported.
‘If you overdo it, you find people rebelling,’ he said.
‘Having a really strict lockdown when you have a low community restriction has not given better results.
‘My view is Victoria always went too far.’
A microbiology expert has called out overzealous coronavirus restrictions and claimed it has spectacularly backfired in Victoria, amid a spike in COVID-19 cases recorded in the state
Victoria recorded on Thursday 18 new COVID-19 cases, including eight cases of community transmission – bringing the state’s total to 1780
Professor Collignon added the matter was made worse as Victoria had initially carried out fewer COVID-19 tests than its neighbour state New South Wales, during the early days of the virus outbreak.
NSW tested 1,320 people per 100,000 while Victoria tested 708 per 100,000 between January and March.
The gap narrowed slightly in April when New South Wales tested 1,597 people per 100,000 while Victoria tested 1,102 per 100,000.
Although New South Wales has recorded more than 3,100 COVID-19 cases – almost double the 1,780 cases in Victoria – the state has been quicker to ease lockdown restrictions.
All New South Wales and Queensland students were back in the classrooms by May 25.
Victoria took on a staggered approach as some grades returned sooner than others -students in prep to Year 2 and Years 11 and 12 returned to class around the same time as its neighbour state but it was until June 9 that all grades finally returned to class.
Workers in New South Wales have also been encouraged to return to the office, while Victorians have been told to continue to work from home.
Workers in New South Wales have also been encouraged to return to the office, while Victorians have been told to continue to work from home
Cafes and outdoor venues have also been slower to reopen
Cafes and other outdoor venues have also been slower to reopen in Victoria.
Victorian restaurants, cafes and hospitality businesses are only allowed 20 seated patrons per enclosed space, irrespective of their size and ability to accommodate more people based on the one person per four square metre rule.
This is far less than NSW, which has had more COVID-19 cases, but allows up to 50 per eating space – and up to 500 in one indoor venue.
Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews has been labelled ‘Chairman Dan’ by the state’s Liberal Party Opposition for what they claim are his draconian COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews has been labelled ‘Chairman Dan’ by the state’s Liberal Party Opposition for what they claim are his draconian COVID-19 lockdown measures
Though professor Collignon added the matter was made worse as Victoria had initially carried out fewer COVID-19 tests than its neighbour state New South Wales, during the early days of the virus outbreak
Liberal member for Kew Tim Smith said: ‘Daniel Andrews is sabotaging cafes and restaurants in Victoria.
‘Andrews has never had a job in the private sector, he doesn’t have a clue about small business.’
Justin O’Donnell, Chairperson of Chapel Street Precinct Association, which represents more than 2200 businesses, said the ‘one size fits all’ capacity regulation could see 20 to 30 per cent of the area’s largest employers permanently shut down.
‘Our State Government’s one size fits all approach does not work financially for many Chapel Street Precinct businesses, particularly many of our larger businesses that are some of our precinct’s largest employers, ‘ he said.
‘We are asking for those Chapel Street Precinct businesses that have a larger space (square footage) for limit numbers to be based on their areas available, while maintaining the one metre by four metre rule. The issue is the number cap that has been stamped for all businesses regardless of the size.’
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen said authorities still plan to further relax restrictions on Monday, though a lot can happen in the meantime.
‘Monday is not that far away. The plan is to continue to ease those restrictions on Monday, but a lot can happen in five days,’ Dr van Diemen said.
‘We don’t want to take any chances and if it does continue to climb, we will be taking all of that into account when we decide whether or not to ease further on Monday.’
Gyms, cinemas, indoor sports centres and concert venues will reopen on Monday, while cafes, restaurants and pubs will increase capacity from 20 people to 50.