Covid Victoria: Case numbers surge, tighter restrictions loom

·Assistant News Editor
·2-min read

Victoria has recorded 77 new cases of Covid-19 as a wider lockdown appears imminent for the state.

The tally is thought to include twelve cases in the regional town of Shepparton that were already reported on Friday. 

Of the new cases, 61 were recorded in the 24-hour period to Saturday while a further 16 will be officially added to tomorrow's daily numbers. 

"In addition to 61 local cases reported, there are an additional 16 local cases which were recorded on a rapid PCR testing platform and will be reported in tomorrow’s numbers," the state's health department said on Saturday morning.

A majority of new cases were in the community while infectious, while mystery cases also continue to rise. 

"Of the local cases, 22 were in isolation for the duration of their infectious period and 48 are linked to known outbreaks," the Department of Health said. 

That leaves 13 cases in Saturday's numbers still under investigation, while 39 were in the community when infectious.

People queue at a Covid-19 testing station in Melbourne on August 19, as the city passed 200 days in hard lockdown since the start of the pandemic. Source: Getty
People queue at a Covid-19 testing station in Melbourne on August 19, as the city passed 200 days in hard lockdown since the start of the pandemic. Source: Getty

Reacting to the latest figures VicHealth CEO, Dr Sandro Demaio, called for people to heed the public health messages. 

"Deep breath. The only way through this is with unity and trust. Don’t blame or hate, instead listen and support. Unity, now more than ever, is our best defence," he tweeted. 

Victoria conducted 45,670 tests in the 24-hour reporting period and administered 29,539 vaccine jabs on Friday. 

Premier Daniel Andrews warned Melburnians the virus "will get away" from health authorities if the public fails to stick to the rules this weekend, saying Melbourne could end up like Sydney. 

The warning came as the city recorded 55 new local coronavirus cases on Friday, including 30 which were infectious while in the community.

Five mystery cases were reported in Brunswick, Pakenham, Point Cook, Port Melbourne and Tullamarine.

Crisis meeting to determine next move

Cabinet ministers held a crisis meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss whether regional Victoria will be locked down again and if tighter measures are needed for Melbourne.

The state government has asked all community sporting leagues in regional Victoria to "immediately cancel their activities" for the weekend.

A spokesperson says government it will consider the latest health advice on Saturday morning and that "all options are on the table".

The premier and health officials are expected to front the media later this morning. 

with AAP

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