As Victoria’s daily coronavirus cases dropped for a second consecutive day, there is a glimmer of hope the restrictions imposed in recent weeks across Melbourne are beginning to work.
“We are seeing some stability... that's a good thing,” Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Monday as the state announced 322 daily cases – the state’s lowest total in 13 days.
And while Mr Andrews was reluctant to predict the trend of the coming five weeks, the ABC’s medical commentator Dr Norman Swan said cases would now dramatically drop in just a fortnight if current restrictions are adhered to.
“I actually think we've turned a corner,” he told ABC News on Monday.
“It makes sense that, around today or tomorrow, they'll come down. The question is the speed at which they come down. It could be quite quickly.
“If people are sticking to this lockdown and not mixing, that virus won't be spreading very much, and you could get a quite precipitous decline and hit the deck in a couple of weeks rather than six weeks.”
Mr Andrews said there would be “zero chance” in driving the numbers down if people weren’t adhering to Stage 4 restrictions which includes a night-time curfew and tight restrictions on outings.
Yet he said a “larger proportion of the Victorian community are doing the right thing than was the case a couple of weeks ago”.
“I think that's something we should all be proud of,” he said.
Mr Andrews believes the stabilising of cases recently is a direct result of Stage 3 restrictions implemented at the start of July. He said it was too early to quantify the effect of Stage 4.
On Monday, Victoria confirmed a further 19 deaths – a daily record for not only the state but for Australia as well.
Dr Swan said the surging death toll was a direct result of the rise in cases from several weeks ago.
“What you're seeing now with these deaths, tragically, is these high numbers that you saw over two weeks or so ago in Victoria,” he said.
He predicted elevated daily death tolls to potentially fall in one week.
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