'Spreading fast': Victoria records 208 new Covid cases, one death

·2-min read

Victoria has recorded another worrying jump in Covid cases with 208 new local infections announced on Friday.

One person has also died from the virus, the Health Department said. The state's current Delta outbreak has now claimed three lives.

Of the new cases, the source of 96 infections remain under investigation.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews looks on during the media at the daily briefing. Source: Getty
Victoria has recorded a huge jump in Covid cases with 208 new local infections announced on Friday. Source: Getty

On Thursday, the state recorded 176 new cases and made an urgent "call out" to more than 220,000 residents living in 22 suburbs to get tested after Covid was found in wastewater plants.

Of those cases, 67 were located in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, 61 in the west, 22 in the east and south, and 13 in the regional town of Shepparton.

"This virus is here, right now, and it is spreading fast," Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie said on Thursday.

"The increasing case numbers are a herald of what our health system is going to be faced with in the coming weeks and months."

People queue up inside the Royal Exhibition Building COVID19 Vaccination Hub in Melbourne, Thursday. Source: AAP
One person has also died from the virus, the Health Department said. Source: AAP

Health Minister Martin Foley said Burnet Institute research had suggested the state's lockdown had avoided a further 6,000 cases in the past month, but now was the time to pivot.

"You've got to follow the advice of the science. Delta has changed the script," he said.

To aid Victoria's quest to ramp up vaccinations, the interval between doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been halved to six weeks.

The move, effective immediately, makes the wait time between AstraZeneca doses the same as for Pfizer and will help the state reach its 80 per cent double dose target faster.

Earlier this week, Premier Daniel Andrews announced the only way out of lockdown was vaccinations and outlined some restrictions that could be eased by the end of the month.

With AAP

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