Daunting new record for Victoria's Delta deaths, cases spike

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·News Reporter
·2-min read
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Victoria's Delta death toll endured a daunting jump on Thursday with a record 25 deaths. 

The Department of Health announced a further 1923 locally acquired cases on Thursday, a significant rise from the 1534 cases 24 hours earlier.

The outbreak's death toll now stands at 272. The previous daily record for deaths during the outbreak was 16.

It is the highest daily death toll of any jurisdiction in 2021 and is Victoria's highest in over a year since it reported 59 deaths on September 4, 2020. The majority of those deaths were due to a backlog in reporting. 

There are 746 people in hospital with Covid, 137 of those in ICU. 

There were 82,648 tests reported in the past 24 hours. 

Victoria continues to press forward with its reopening, with more easing expected earlier than previously anticipated. Source: Getty
Victoria continues to press forward with its reopening, with more easing coming on Friday despite high case numbers. Source: Getty

Premier Daniel Andrews announced over the weekend the state plans to ease restrictions once again as part of the state's roadmap on Friday as the state nears 80 per cent double dose target. 

It currently stands at 77 per cent, the Department of Health said.

Millions of dollars wasted by Andrews government amid pandemic

It comes as the Victorian Auditor-General offered an insight into the Andrews government's overspending during the pandemic.

A lack of PPE preparation meant the government moved hastily to pay over the odds to unfamiliar suppliers, according to the audit tabled in parliament on Wednesday.

Of its multi-billion dollar Covid expenditure, $172 million was wasted on PPE that was not fit for purpose.

At one point the Department of Justice was spending a staggering $27 a bottle of hand sanitiser despite buying them for $6 at other times.

The report found some of the $4.4 billion pandemic expenditure went to executives paid over the odds, and contractors hired without a competitive process or a signed contract.

For example, the Department of Health contracted one senior executive for $594,500 without considering any other candidates.

The pay for the year-long contract exceeded the job description by $250,000 and the relevant public service pay band by $230,000. The audit found the department's records do not explain how the executive was identified or why they were paid so much.

The department also paid $4.5 million to an IT firm for a new computer program for contact tracing, despite later dumping the firm after problems with the job.

With AAP

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