Victoria Covid-19 outbreak grows again

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Victoria has recorded four new locally acquired Covid-19 cases as the state enters its seven-day, snap lockdown.

The Department of Health announced the latest community infections on Friday morning, taking the state's total to 30.

It is unclear at this stage if those cases are linked to the previous 26.

There were 47,462 tests recorded in the previous 24 hours, and follows on from more than 40,000 announced on Thursday as Victorians respond to a call for action from the state government. 

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Thursday he didn't believe daily Covid-19 cases would reach triple digits. Source: Getty

More than 17,000 vaccines were administered on Thursday.

Exposure sites have ballooned to more than 150 locations as contact tracers scramble to add to the growing list of more than 14,000 people who have been ordered to isolate.

Friday's cases are a promising update with Acting Premier James Merlino warning on Thursday the outbreak could become "increasingly uncontrollable".

Too early to say if peak of outbreak has passed, physician says

While emergency physician Dr Stephen Parnis told the ABC Friday's cases were "encouraging", he warned it is far too early to suggest the worst of the outbreak has passed.

Infectious disease expert Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah from Monash University said she believed Victoria was "primed" for a third wave.

"I think the stakes are higher this time because we have all the factors for what is essentially a perfect storm," she told ABC Breakfast.

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She said contributing to Victoria's vulnerability was having an unvaccinated population, the arrival of winter and the "unforgiving" B1617 variant involved in the outbreak.

As part of the lockdown that came into effect overnight, people can only leave home for five reasons. 

Residents can leave home to shop for food and essential items, to provide or receive care, for exercise, work or study, or to get vaccinated.

Victorians must observe a five-kilometre travel limit for exercise and shopping, and compulsory wearing of masks both indoors and outdoors.

All non-essential shops are closed but essential stores such as supermarkets, bottle shops and pharmacies remain open, with shopping limited to one person per day, per household.

Cafes and restaurants can only offer takeaway.

The lockdown is expected to cost Victorian businesses up to $1 billion.

Coles and Woolworths have imposed a limit of two packs of toilet paper per person after shoppers rushed to stock up.

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