'Cunning enemy': Concern over growing number of coronavirus 'mystery cases'

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Victoria has recorded 397 new cases of coronavirus and a further three deaths, highlighting growing concern for “mystery cases” that can not be traced to an original source.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Saturday a man and woman in their 80s had died, along with a woman in her 90s.

Of the new cases, 37 are linked with known outbreaks and the remaining 360 are still under investigation, Mr Andrews said.

“That is a very significant number of new cases and while there is always a temptation to try and read trends into these numbers, there is a growing concern in relation to the number of community transmission cases within that data,” he said.

dan andrews
Daniel Andrews announced 397 cases of the virus and a further three deaths. Source: AAP

He said 49 people had contracted the virus from unknown sources, which was of great concern for public health officials.

“Forty nine doesn't seem a very large number but I just say to all Victorians that 49 where you can't be certain how they got it, that can mean there are many more than 49 out there that have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, they can be at the height of their infectivity, and be infecting other people unbeknownst to them,” Mr Andrews said.

A total of 116 people have now died of COVID-19 in the state.

Mr Andrews’ announcement comes as a map of the state revealed a grim insight into the severity of coronavirus infections in Victoria.

‘Appalling behaviour’

Not being able to track the source of a case of COVID-19 had become a “silent enemy”, Mr Andrews said.

“It is a very cunning enemy as well. But particularly those community transmission cases are of greatest concern to us.

“That is why we find ourselves in a position to evaluate these things and we can't rule out further steps being taken, they are being taken because that is what is necessary, there will be nothing else driving it but when I am in a position to make further announcements of course I will.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said on Saturday there continued to be concerning numbers of people evading public health orders, including people driving unnecessary distances to buy fast food.

Police minister Lisa Neville described purposely evading public health orders as "appalling behaviour". Source: AAP
Police minister Lisa Neville described purposely evading public health orders as "appalling behaviour". Source: AAP

“There is absolutely no reason or need to drive from Melbourne to Wodonga to have a Big Mac. That is one of the fines that was issued yesterday,” she told reporters.

“There is absolutely no reason or need to drive from Melbourne to Ballarat fresh air. There is absolutely no reason to drive from Werribee out to Springvale to buy groceries.”

Ms Neville said those were just three examples that incurred fines on Friday, describing it as “appalling behaviour”.

“I think there is no question when Victoria Police pull people over they are aware of the rules but have made a decision to breach, blatantly breach the Chief Health Officer's directives.”

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