VICTORIA’S LOCKDOWN EXTENDED: Covid-19 outbreak is ‘moving fast’
Victoria’s fifth lockdown has been extended as the state grapples with a super-spreading Delta outbreak.
The Victorian Department of Health released the figures this morning which also showed there had been 54,839 test results received and a total of 1,392,522 vaccines administered.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the lockdown would be extended beyond Tuesday at midnight.
“(Ending the lockdown) would not be the right thing to do. It would be, perhaps, a few days of sunshine, and then a very high chance we would be back in lockdown again, that is what I’m trying to avoid, we are trying to do this properly and bring the cases to an end,” he said.
“This thing is moving so fast, it is so challenging and dynamic that we have to do be on our guard and make sure we make the best calls because you only get one chance to do that.”
The figures released today said there were 13 new cases, however one was already reported and released yesterday.
There are still major concerns within the Victorian government over a series of “super-spreading” exposure sites including the England-Italy Euro final party at Crafty Squire, the Carlton-Geelong game at the MCG, Wallabies-France game at AAMI Park, and six trams on routes 48, 72, 75 and 109.
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Premier Andrews explained it would not be responsible to end the lockdown on Tuesday at midnight.He added, he would likely be able to explain when the lockdown would end at Tuesday’s media conference around 11am.”As soon as they (health officials) can confirm for Victorians how much longer (we will be in lockdown) and in what circumstances, I will do that. And I hope that will be around this time tomorrow, or certainly as early tomorrow as possible,” he said.
The Victorian premier and his Chief Health Officer would not be drawn into answering any questions about when the lockdown would end.
Both dodged repeated questions seeking more information on the shutdown.
Premier Daniel Andrews said he understands that people are desperate to have more detail.
“My household will want to know what is going on. Everyone wants to know for the best of reasons. I could guess at it now, I don’t think that’s fair. The best thing to do is to act on advice,” he said.
“I appreciate more than most. That’s very frustrating because I’ve had to stand here doing ‘I can’t tell you now be but I will tell you’, a number of times.
“It’s served us well waiting for thousands of results to come forward. I know it is frustrating, but there are many frustrating things about this and this is one.”
There have been four new cases of Covid-19 found in Victoria, in addition to the 13 announced on Tuesday morning.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the four new cases had not been spreading the virus through the community.
“All four have been tucked away in isolation for 100 per cent of their time. That is a trend we want to see continue,” he said.
“There is no such thing as having a good case of this, those people have been away and are no risk to public health because of their infection, that is a triumph of tracing and a trial for people doing the right thing and us getting to this early.
Victorian Health Chief Health Officer Premier Brett Sutton said while the signs of controlling this outbreak were good, there was still a huge risk if the Delta variant stays in the community.
“It is not a question of locking down for a short period of time versus life as normal, life as normal puts at risk hundreds of cases becoming thousands of cases, becoming tens of thousands of cases,” he said.
“These are awful and difficult decisions, but we cannot pretend that it is simply a choice of locking down or not having to worry about it. This will take off if we allow it to. We have to extinguish each and every chain of transmission.”
A hard border between NSW and Victoria could outlast the current outbreak in Melbourne if Sydney do not get their case numbers under control.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said both communities in his home state and NSW will play an important role in stopping the spread of the Delta strain.
“Unless and until case numbers in Sydney dramatically reduce, we are going to have an ongoing challenge in terms of defending the border to the north and ensuring that nobody has this virus is coming to our state,” he said.
“That is for another day. That is principally a challenge. We will be calling on the community to play their part in that for a lengthy period of time. That is just the reality we face.”
If this morning’s annoucement has you feeling stressed or overwhelmed there are some tips in reducing that in the video below.
Stress is a natural response to the challenging situation we’re in. If you feel stressed, try to: -breathe steadily -take pleasure in the small things -be aware of negative thoughts
“Please, can we stress to be extra extra careful in relation to workplaces and also in relation to your own family members who don’t live in your household. These are two areas we need to focus on. I am convinced if we work together, we will see that number go down,” she said.
Mandatory mask-wearing will be abandoned, social distancing will be reserved for only those who’ve tested positive for the virus and at airports, and limits on the number of people who can come together inside and outside will be done away with.
Sporting venues, cinemas and night clubs will be able to open at full capacity.
The hope is that this will bring some more “normality” back to people’s lives, something that many locked-down Australians can only dream about.
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifts almost all lockdown restrictions, the world will be able to witness how a country with a large population copes without covid rules.