Yesterday there were 49 new cases in the state and 41 on Saturday, with 10 Melbourne suburbs identified as hot spots.
Assistant Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nick Coatsworth said today that he hopes new “unprecedented” measures, including going door-to-door with a new saliva test alone, will control the epidemic.
“If anything, in the world we are still in the first wave and in Australia we are witnessing a localized epidemic in a city,” said Dr Coatsworth.
“This is the epidemic situation that we knew we were likely to have with the amount of COVID-19 that is in the world right now.”
He said the term “second wave” dates back to the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic that infected 500 million people worldwide and saw a decrease in cases before an outbreak.
Dr. Coatsworth said the new saliva tests are “almost as accurate” as the nasal swab but are more tolerable.
“The nasal swab and the throat swab are still the best sample we can get, but if people really don’t want to have this sample we will do the saliva test and the Doherty Institute and the public health labs of Melbourne is monitoring the results very closely to make sure they are comparable, “he said.
He said reports that 30% of Victorians returning to the foreign state to quarantine in a hotel refused any COVID-19 test, had no impact on the epidemic .
The new rules introduced mean that anyone who will not be tested must now remain in quarantine for an additional 10 days.
“The 14-day quarantine is so effective that even among those who refused an exit test, there was no transmission of COVID-19,” said Dr. Coatsworth.
He urged people not to point the finger at others, among the details of a third of the new epidemic in young adults in their 20s and 30s – but reminded the group to follow the rules.
“We need to involve young people and remind them that even if they are less likely to be severely affected, they can be and, most importantly, passing it on to their parents or grandparents could be fatal, so it is extremely important that young people – I’m talking about young adults – practicing the same social, physical distance and excellent hand hygiene that we’ve talked about for so long, “he said.