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Victoria's escalating Delta outbreak continues with more than 20 unlinked cases as the state fears another prolonged lockdown is now inevitable.
Monday's total of 73 locally acquired Covid-19 cases follows 92 infections 24 hours earlier, prompting Premier Daniel Andrews to extend the state's lockdown indefinitely.
He said there were "far too many" cases to envisage opening up.
The Department of Health said 21 of the latest cases were unlinked at this stage.
Two-thirds of the state's active cases are in Melbourne's north and west.
There are now 805 active virus cases in the state, according to the Department of Health.
More than 26,700 vaccine doses were administered at state run hubs and 41,395 test results were received on Sunday.
Six weeks of lockdown could drive numbers down, epidemiologist says
Despite daily cases largely remaining above 50 for nearly two weeks, Ms Andrews said he believed the state could return to zero case numbers.
On Monday, University of Melbourne epidemiologist Tony Blakely agreed, saying it was still possible.
"But it's becoming pretty tough," he admitted to ABC News Breakfast.
Prof Blakely said it would likely take a further six weeks of hard lockdown to get daily case numbers below five.
He said Mr Andrews' desire to drive numbers down to just a handful of cases was a "fair enough stance".
"We have options going forward. We can either keep going for zero or we can get that control, get it even and just relax a little bit and just try to keep the numbers there," he said.
"But that's not an easy thing to do with Covid."
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