Victoria’s premier has cast doubt on reported modelling that predicted the state would record more than 1000 cases of coronavirus in coming days.
The modelling, obtained by The Australian, claimed to be from the Victorian government and predicted a case number high of 1100 by the end of next week, and cases above 1000 for the subsequent eight days.
Addressing media on Thursday however, Daniel Andrews said he hadn’t seen that modelling, and told reporters it was not what authorities had been working off.
“I have not seen any modelling that suggests that,” Mr Andrews said.
“The bloke who's in charge of the modelling has never seen it. Brendan Murphy [former Australian Chief Medical Officer] has never seen it. No-one in the government has ever seen it.”
The Australian reported that more than 700 cases were expected on Sunday before a climb to 800 on Thursday and 900 on Friday.
The report cited modelling which the paper claimed came straight from the Victorian Government.
The paper also reported that by Saturday next week, 990 cases were expected and they were predicted to exceed 1000 the following day.
Daily COVID-19 infections in the state were expected to stay in their thousands for more than a week the report said, before falling below 800 at the end of August and continuing to drop slowly in September.
By the middle of September, the scheduled end of Stage 4 restrictions, the report said cases were expected to be in the 300s – still far higher than daily numbers before the state’s second wave.
Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, said on Wednesday the Victorian government’s response was “based on the world's best evidence about responding to pandemics”.
“Clearly the restrictions which are in place now, there'll be very few people with an excuse to be leaving their homes and to be moving around the city – that's only for the essential workers,” Prof Kidd said.
“What we hope to see over the next two weeks is the figures that we're currently seeing start to decline, and hopefully decline quite rapidly.”
From Thursday, essential workers in Melbourne will be required to show a permit if pulled over by police to prove they're allowed to leave their homes.
There were 739 virus cases across Australia on Wednesday, including 723 in Victoria. The state also recorded a grim record of 15 deaths, including a man in his 30s.
States closing borders
Queensland will close to people from NSW and the ACT from 1am on Saturday, despite Canberra having no active cases and not recording a new infection for almost a month.
NSW recorded 12 new cases on Tuesday with only one without a known source.
Western Australia recorded one new case after a returned overseas traveller tested positive while in hotel quarantine.
Travellers returning from Victoria to NSW will be required to go into hotel quarantine at their own expense as of Friday.
The federal government has announced a package for Victorian childcare to ensure jobs and centres are secure during the lockdown.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is also offering other states and territories to join Victoria in receiving $1500 payments for workers without sick leave.
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