'This is not over': Premier's plea to hotspot suburbs as cases rise by 73

Victoria has announced a further 73 coronavirus cases amid its ongoing outbreak as dozens of Melbourne suburbs prepare to be locked down for four weeks from tonight.

The state announced 64 cases on Tuesday, which followed 75 on Monday after a testing blitz of 10 virus hotspots in the Melbourne region.

Just over 20,000 people were tested for the virus on Tuesday, with three of the new cases in hotel quarantine.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned the state the outbreak won't be over 'for a long time'. Source: AAP
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned the state the outbreak won't be over 'for a long time'. Source: AAP

“This is not over. It won't be over for a long time,” Premier Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s total was the fifth highest daily total since the outbreak began in Victoria.

Nine of the new cases are associated with known and contained outbreaks, 19 were found through routine testing and 42 remain under investigation by the public health team

The majority of recent cases have been locally acquired, with Mr Andrews revealing on Tuesday a review of hotel quarantine after “a failure” in its operation meant dozens of cases in the community were linked to the facilities.

“Let’s be really clear about this, there have been unacceptable infection control breaches in hotel quarantine,” Mr Andrews reiterated on Wednesday.

On Wednesday at 11.59pm, 10 postcodes in Melbourne will revert to stage three restrictions for four weeks.

Those postcodes are: 3038, 3064, 3047, 3060, 3012, 3032, 3055, 3042, 3021, 3046.

The area incorporates 36 suburbs and a population of 300,000 people.

Mr Andrews once again urged Victorians to “follow the rules”.

“They are very simple. Keeping your distance, staying at home if you are sick, getting tested if you are sick, making sure that you cough into the crook of your arm, making sure you wash your hands regularly.”

He told 3AW Radio if Victoria can’t get to grips with the current outbreak, the whole state would have to revert back to stage three restrictions.

In the week since a doorknocking information blitz started in Melbourne's northern and western suburbs due to the outbreak, about 54,000 homes had been reached and 113,000 tests done.

Mr Andrews announced there will be 12 new testing sites across the postcodes under a fresh lockdown.

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