Victoria’s daily coronavirus cases have once again surpassed 400 as the state confirmed a further five deaths from the virus.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced 403 new cases on Thursday morning.
The total is the third time daily cases have been above the 400-mark in just one week.
Record daily deaths for any state
The latest deaths are a man in his 50s and a man in his 70s and three people connected to aged care facilities – a woman in her 70s, a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s.
The state’s death toll now sits at 49, with the five deaths the most reported in a single day by any state.
"It would be wrong to assume that young people are somehow immune to this. Even otherwise fit and healthy young people can get sick and can die from this virus,” Mr Andrews said in reference to the youngest of the deaths.
Wearing face masks or coverings in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire is now compulsory as of today, with those not adhering to the order facing a fine of $200.
“I'm deeply grateful to all of those Victorians who are making sacrifices large and small, to get us to the other side of this, if we all play our part, then that's exactly what we'll be able to achieve,” Mr Andrews said.
However he said striving for stability in case rates “is not enough”.
“Stability won't get us beyond this we have to find those small incremental gains, we have to also see compliance in the community at extremely high levels.”
He once again suggested the current six-week lockdown could run for longer.
"I can't give you a direct answer as to how things look in three-and-a-half to four weeks' time. Unless we all play our part… then the lockdown will be longer than it otherwise would be,” he said.
He said if the virus continues to spiral out of control, it will effect every family, leading to a surge in deaths and “absolute tragedy”.
Victoria moves to improve isolating rates
Mr Andrews announced a new handout for those in insecure work isolating as they await coronavirus test results in the shape of a one-off $300 payment.
"This $300 payment will go a long way to supporting those families and having them make much better choices," he said.
Those who test positive and do not have secure work or sick leave will then be able to apply for the additional $1500 payment currently in place.
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