Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has announced there will be two different roadmaps for the state, with Melbourne to have a different exit strategy from coronavirus restrictions to regional Victoria.
“We believe that given the low case numbers it will be possible for us to have different settings in regional Victoria, and a different timeline and roadmap compared to what will be essential in metropolitan Melbourne,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Mr Andrews said the two areas were in “different places” when it comes to the number of positive cases and chains of transmission.
“The challenge is different in metropolitan Melbourne than it is in regional Victoria.”
Mr Andrews announced there were now only 139 active cases in regional Victoria, while there are 2,380 active cases in metropolitan Melbourne.
Mr Andrews said the regional roadmap would be more lenient than Melbourne’s.
“There may be some things allowed in regional Victoria that won't yet be allowed in metro Melbourne,” he said.
“The virus is presenting in very different ways and at very different levels in regional Victoria compared to metro Melbourne.”
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Testing in Victoria continues to sit well below the desired 20,000 tests, with just 10,153 tests processed in the previous 24 hours.
“That’s not enough,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned.
“I know there's more respiratory illness out there.”
“If we're not aware of hidden cases because people have not come forward for testing, they will persist and then accelerate, as we ease restrictions, as we increase allowances for people to interact with others,” Professor Sutton said.
“If there are mystery chains of transmission, just like mystery cases, they will accelerate and potentially explode.”
While Prof Sutton was once again reluctant to give a ‘magic number’ at which restrictions could be lifted, he said he “doubts that they will be under 10” when the government is ready to enact its roadmap.
He said the key was locally acquired cases with a known source.
“If we know where every case in Victoria is today, we could end it in a week,” he said.
On Monday, he said he expected the state to be at between 40 and 50 daily cases.
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