Victoria Covid: Lockdown extension looms as state records 64 new cases

·2-min read

Victoria has recorded 64 new local Covid-19 cases.

Victoria Health announced on Saturday that of the new cases, 49 are linked to known outbreaks and 15 are mystery cases — continuing a worrying trend seen in the state's most recent outbreak. 

Just over half of the new cases were in quarantine while infectious, while 28 cases infectious while out in the community.

People are seen waiting in a line at a Covid19 vaccination centre in Melbourne on Friday. Source: AAP
People are seen waiting in a line at a Covid19 vaccination centre in Melbourne on Friday. Source: AAP

Authorities decline to announce lockdown extension

Victorian authorities are refusing to be drawn on whether a lockdown extension is a foregone conclusion, as coronavirus cases remain stubbornly high.

The state's sixth lockdown, which was initially announced for seven days, is scheduled to end on September 2.

However, it appears increasingly likely to be extended again given the high number of mystery cases and people infectious in the community.

Health Minister Foley said on Friday it was too early for officials to make a call and could not provide clarity when asked if Victoria would be in lockdown until hitting 70 to 80 per cent vaccination rates.

"I don't know about that but I know there have been public health measures for the last 18 months in place," he said.

Covid commander Jeroen Weimar said the state's outbreak was "not wobbly", but conceded Melbourne's west was "a significant area of concern", with 46 of Friday's 79 new infections coming from there.

"We are at a crossroads," he said.

Regional town's outbreak worsens

More help has arrived for Covid-hit Shepparton as the regional town's outbreak worsens and spreads close to the NSW border.

Ten new cases were linked to the Shepparton outbreak on Friday, taking the cluster to 79 since it first emerged a week ago.

It has also spread to nearby towns after an aged care worker in Echuca, an hour's drive from Shepparton, became infected by her partner.

"In some regards, we're not quite on top of it," Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Matt Sharp said.

About 16,000 residents are self-isolating in the region, sparking staff shortages for food distributors, supermarkets and pharmacies.

Hundreds of food packages were delivered to vulnerable members of the Shepparton community on Friday, while Coles has donated two semi-trailers full of products to a local food share agency.

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