Victoria records another Covid death as hidden impact of pandemic highlighted

·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read

Victoria has recorded 334 new local cases of Covid-19 on Friday as Melbourne's Delta outbreak continues to worsen.

The state has also recorded another Covid death, the health department revealed this morning.

Of the 334 new local cases, 149 have so far been linked to known cases and outbreaks.

While officials are no longer providing details on whether people were infectious in the community, this morning's update includes 185 mystery cases.

The latest caseload was detected among 42,998 test results received in the 24-hour period to Friday. 

Melbourne is on the cusp of becoming the world's most locked down city during the pandemic. Source: Getty
Melbourne is on the cusp of becoming the world's most locked down city during the pandemic. Source: Getty

On Thursday, the state recorded a big jump in daily infections to 324 cases after three successive days in the low-to-mid 200s. 

The Victorian regions, excluding Shepparton, have seen their lockdown lifted overnight as they wake to new freedoms today. 

People in the regions can now travel as far as they want from their homes after the stay-at-home order the and five-kilometre travel limit ended at midnight.

Victoria administered 39,027 vaccines doses in the past 24 hours.

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Report exposes pandemic's indirect impacts

Those in Melbourne have spent more time in lockdown than anyone in the country. Melburnians have endured 222 days of lockdown during the pandemic and this month the city will become the unenviable world record holders in that category. 

A new report shows just how damaging that stint has been. 

Restrictions designed to preserve the health of Australians saw millions of them feed unhealthy habits and turn to their vices to cope, new research from the national health data agency suggests.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Friday released a report – based on several data sources and surveys – exploring the direct and indirect effects of the first year of the pandemic on Australians' health.

While the report found the country had fared comparatively well when it came to the direct impacts of the virus, the wellbeing of many Australians had suffered thanks to its indirect consequences.

Police speak to people enjoying the unusually warm spring weather at St Kilda Beach as the city remains in lockdown. Source: Getty
Police speak to people enjoying the unusually warm spring weather at St Kilda Beach as the city remains in lockdown. Source: Getty

Of those surveyed, one in five people who drink alcohol noticed they were reaching for the bottle more, while a similar proportion of smokers and illicit drug users also upped their consumption.

While some saw the time as an opportunity to exercise more, a similar share of Australians decreased their physical activity.

One in four people had increased how often they indulged in snack foods, and more than half – 58 per cent – reported they'd been spending more time on their screens.

The initial impacts of the pandemic also appeared to have increased levels of psychological distress, particularly for adults aged 18–45, although suicide rates remained steady.

But it wasn't all bad news.

Some 41 per cent of people reported they had increased their household chores and projects during the early part of the pandemic, although their inspiration was short lived. Two months later it had almost halved, to 25 per cent.

with AAP

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