Coronavirus Victoria: New cases continue to drop, one death

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Victoria has had one more coronavirus death as Melbourne's new case average continues to fall.

The deaths take the state toll to 782 and the national figure to 870.

There were 12 new cases, while Melbourne's 14-day average fell again on Saturday to 23.6.

It is only 0.8 in regional Victoria.

Source: AAP
Premier Daniel Andrews has denied making the fateful decision to hire security guards for hotel quarantine instead of using police or ADF. Source: AAP

Premier, ministers deny involvement in security decision

Meanwhile, after six weeks of hearings at the $3 million hotel inquiry, it is still not known who made the decision to use security guards instead of the police or the Australian Defence Force, which assisted in other states.

The premier, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, Jobs Minister Martin Pakula and Police Minister Lisa Neville have all denied being involved in the decision.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton, his predecessor Graham Ashton, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and multiple senior public servants have also pleaded ignorance.

A screenshot shows Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during the Covid-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry in Melbourne, Friday, September 25, 2020.
Premier Daniel Andrews appeared at an inquiry into Victoria's botched hotel quarantine program on Friday. Source: AAP

Premier Daniel Andrews was the much-awaited final appearance at the inquiry on Friday and said he was disappointed no one in his government knows who made the fateful decision.

"There's just no one who says it was them. Are you aware of that?"counsel assisting the inquiry Rachel Ellyard asked.

"I am," the premier replied.

"Do you know who it was?" Ms Ellyard enquired.

"No, I don't,” Mr Andrews said.

Ms Ellyard said a potential explanation was it "wasn't really a decision consciously made by anyone but rather a kind of creeping assumption that formed amongst a group".

"That would be even more concerning to me because that's not a decision at all. That's just a series of assumptions," Mr Andrews said.

While the political heat is high, the two-week rolling average of new daily cases continues to trend lower.

Melburnians are waiting for the easing of restrictions on Monday, though the premier has tried to temper expectations.

He has flagged the next scheduled "step" on October 26 could be changed, depending on improving case numbers.

People wearing facemasks are seen exercising along Albert Park Lake in Melbourne.
Melburnians are waiting for Monday to hear if and how restrictions will be easing. Source: AAP

Proposed changes for Monday include a staged return to school for some students and an allowance for outdoor gatherings of five people from two households.

Meanwhile, anti-lockdown protesters are again expected to express their frustration over the weekend.

Protesters are expected to gather in undisclosed locations to defy restrictions.

Small anti-lockdown rallies have happened every weekend for weeks now, resulting in multiple arrests and hefty fines.

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