There are strengthened calls for Victoria to be thrust into even stricter restrictions as daily cases of coronavirus continue to show weak signs of stabilising.
Australian Medical Association President Tony Bartone said this week Stage Four restrictions may be the only way to have an impact influential enough to bring down rates of community transmission.
On Friday, after the state recorded a record high of 723 cases, Dr Bartone told ABC Radio that “a lot more needs to be done if we’re going to get on top of this current outbreak”.
“There needs to be an engagement with the community about the severity of this virus,” he said.
“By calling for severer restrictions and calling for a ‘stage four’... that will then get a message out that this is really serious and reduce the movement in our community.”
Victoria Police said on Saturday there were a number of people still knowingly flouting rules, including a man that drove 300km from Melbourne to Wodonga for a Big Mac from McDonald’s.
This was described as “appalling behaviour” by Police Minister Lisa Neville, and was a clear example of public health orders not being taken seriously by portion of the community.
There are fears that without enforcing stricter penalties for those busted flouting the rules, such rule breakers could ruin the state’s coronavirus recovery for everyone else.
Daily cases of the virus could hit 1000 in about two weeks if numbers continue on their current trajectory, according to modelling conducted by mathematical biologist Deborah Cromer of the University of NSW’s Kirby Institute for The Australian.
Dr Cromer said while the state was better placed now than it was three weeks ago, COVID is far from being under control in Victoria.
Based on modelling, she predicted there would be 723 new cases on Friday next week, 899 by August 12 and 1118 on August 17.
NSW’s current daily cases are around what was recorded in Victoria mid-June Dr Cromer said, explaining it wouldn’t take much for cases in NSW to take off in a similar way.
“It just requires one case to go unnoticed and start spreading and you lose control very quickly,” she told the publication.
Victoria on Saturday recorded 397 new cases of coronavirus and a further three deaths, with the premier highlighting concern over several “mystery cases” with unknown sources.
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