Has Victoria passed its Covid peak? Another big drop in cases recorded

·News Reporter
·3-min read
  • Victoria records 1,466 new Covid-19 cases, eight deaths

  • Calls for vaccine mandate clarification

  • Fears for Victoria's hospitals

Victoria has recorded 1,466 new cases of Covid-19 in yet another drop in its case load.

The state also recorded a further eight deaths on Tuesday from the highly infectious virus.

It means 16 people have now died from coronavirus in Victoria in the past 48 hours. The death toll from the current outbreak has reached 101.

However, cases appear to be dropping after they nearly hit 2000 on the weekend.

People cross a street in Melbourne during a lockdown against Covid-19.
Pedestrians walk across a street in lockdown in Melbourne. Source: Getty Images

The state recorded 1612 new cases of coronavirus on Monday.

Older Victorians who have held back on getting the AstraZeneca jab can now access Pfizer and Moderna as the state races to re-open.

Health Minister Martin Foley said there was now enough vaccine supply in Victoria to open all brands to every age group eligible for inoculation.

"This change, which is now in effect, has been made possible by the relative certainty we now have for both Moderna and Pfizer, and the extraordinary number of young people who have come forward over the past three and a half weeks," he told reporters on Monday.

Previously people over 60 were only able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at state hubs.

As of Sunday, 85.8 per cent of Victorians over 16 had received their first vaccine, including 92.9 per cent of people over 50.

"Victoria is well on the way to becoming one of the world's most vaccinated jurisdictions," Mr Foley said.

Calls for vaccine mandate clarification

The deadline for authorised workers to show proof they have received or booked their first vaccine or have a medical exemption is in three days. 

The Victorian Farmers Federation, AUSVEG VIC, Fruit Growers Victoria and a number of other groups have issued a joint-call for clarity around unfair dismissal, privacy rights and employer and employee obligations ahead of the October 15 deadline. 

The groups have been speaking to Agriculture Victoria about their concerns, but they say "crucial" information on the vaccine mandate remains unclear.

Among their questions, the industry wants to know whether employers are at risk of being pursued by workers under industrial relations laws, and how employers can request for an employee's vaccination status without breaching their privacy. 

"We're only days away from the vaccine mandate coming into force and many of our basic questions seem to have been placed in the too hard basket," VFF president Emma Germano said. 

"Industry groups have been talking to farmers non-stop since the announcement was made and all of us just want to be able to pass on accurate information and support our growers in a timely manner.

"The Victorian government must publicly release further information and they need to do it immediately."

Medical staff transport a patient from the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne.
A patient is transported from Royal Melbourne Hospital. Source: Getty Images

Fears for Victoria's hospitals

Victoria's healthcare system will be at greater risk of surging Covid-19 patient numbers than NSW as lockdowns ease, a leading health expert has warned.

University of Melbourne clinical epidemiologist Professor Nancy Baxter said Melbourne would have a greater strain on its hospitals from COVID cases once restrictions eased.

"Any loosening is going to have bigger implications for Melbourne than it does for Sydney," Professor Baxter told Nine Network on Tuesday.

"Right now in NSW, the decrease in cases has led to some improvement in terms of what's happening at the hospital and ICU level. They have a bit of wiggle room, but there's no wiggle room now in Victoria."

The comments come after NSW ended a more than 100-day lockdown on Monday, after the state surpassed its target for 70 per cent of the eligible population to be fully vaccinated.

with AAP

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting