75 new cases of COVID-19 have been registered in Victoria, health officials announced on Monday.
“There is a net increase of 71 cases as four previous indeterminate cases have been reclassified,” said Minister of Health Jenny Mikakos.
This is the fourth daily total for the state since the start of the pandemic.
“This brings us to a total of 2,099 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Victoria,” said Mikakos.
“Fortunately, no new deaths were reported overnight, the number remains at 20.”
New cases included;
- 14 linked to outbreaks
- 37 were detected by routine testing
- 23 still under investigation
- A case in hotel quarantine
The state has recorded double-digit cases for 13 consecutive days.
There were 41 new cases on Saturday and 49 on Sunday. The majority were acquired locally.
“Get worse before getting better”
Victorian Chief Medical Officer of Health Brett Sutton called the new numbers “absolutely concerning”.
“I think it will get worse before it gets better,” he said on Monday.
Sutton left the door open to closings in the suburbs.
“It is absolutely an option and we have reported the possibility of using it and we will use it if necessary.”
“It would be a more difficult step but it must be proportionate … We know that it is a real challenge for businesses, it is a real challenge for people at home if that is what is required.”
Sutton also said that the number of effective reproductions has decreased, “but that it is not less than one”.
“It has to be less than one to bring the numbers down,” he said.
“What I would say is that we already know what works. We just need people to do it.”
“So that means runny nose, sore throat, fever, whatever the symptoms, stay at home, take your test, do not interact with other people until you get this result and make you feel good. “
Authorities also said that cases had been registered in six schools.
“Obviously there have been school holidays, these schools are already closed and all schools will be thoroughly cleaned and there will be a contact search involving both staff and students,” said Mikakos.
She also explained in detail how Victoria uses a “saliva test first in Australia”.
“It has made it possible to test young children … taking the traditional swab test can be very uncomfortable for children as well as for people with dementia and nursing homes, people with disabilities and others.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked about the new figures moments after the announcement.
“The growing number of cases we see and Victoria, although very concerning, is not surprising, given the nature of the epidemic we are currently witnessing,” he said.
“At this point, no additional support has been requested from the Victorian Prime Minister.”
“This is not a second wave”
Earlier, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health Michael Kidd said the growing number of cases in Victoria was “very concerning” but maintained that the Commonwealth government fully supported the way the epidemic is managed.
“This is not a second wave,” he told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.
“What we see in Victoria is exactly what was expected when we have outbreaks across the country.”
The Victorian government is conducting a test blitz to prevent the spread of the virus, which has given priority to the suburbs of Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs this weekend.
Eight other suburbs in the west and southeast of Melbourne are next on the list, also identified as having high levels of community transmission.
The government is also imposing mandatory tests on travelers returning to quarantine abroad from hotels after it was revealed that about 30% refused to undergo the tests.
Less invasive saliva tests are also being rolled out.
Professor Kidd said the authorities were watching carefully to see how they worked.
“The saliva test may be more suitable for people who are more difficult to collect and who may include young children or the very old,” he said.
He also reminded all Australians that vigilance, especially among young people, is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Many of the people who have been infected so far during the epidemics in Melbourne are, well, young people, often with only mild symptoms,” said Professor Kidd.
“You can’t get sick or very sick … but if you pass the infection on to your parents or grandparents, they could get very sick, they could even die.”
Australians must stay at least 1.5 meters from the others. Check your state’s restrictions on collecting limits.
Coronavirus testing is now widely available throughout Australia. If you experience cold or flu symptoms, schedule a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information hotline at 1800 020 080.
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