Victoria records Covid cluster surge after lockdown extended

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·Lifestyle Editor
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Victoria has reported 22 new locally acquired cases of coronavirus as it is plunged into lockdown for another week.

The Department of Health tweeted all the new cases were linked to known current outbreaks and there were now 118 active cases.

The state also received 59,355 tests in the 24 hours to midnight.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Tuesday the lockdown, which was supposed to have ended at midnight, will now continue until 11.59pm July 27.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to media.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews extended the state's lockdown on Tuesday. Source: Getty

Mr Andrews defended the decision to extend lockdown, saying he did not want the state to be in the same position as NSW.

He added Victoria had avoided a "NSW-style, long, lengthy, very challenging lockdown" but authorities needed more time to "extinguish" the outbreak.

"We're dealing with an outbreak that we think we are running alongside and we just need to get in front of it in order to pull it up," he said.

Lockdown extension 'not enough'

The cases come after University of South Australia academic Adrian Esterman said on Tuesday the lockdown extension wasn't enough to combat a rising number of cases.

He added cases will not have dropped to zero by July 27.

"You've got at least another week and potentially two or three weeks," the veteran epidemiologist and biostatistician told AAP on Tuesday.

"It takes as long to get down as it does to take off. I'm expecting (Monash University) modelling forecasts of at least four weeks is probably correct."

The new cases come after the state reported 13 locally acquired cases on Tuesday.

Permits to enter Victoria suspended

Four new tier-two exposure sites were added overnight in Richmond, bringing the total number of sites to more than 350, while more than 18,000 primary close contacts, including two apartment blocks, are self-isolating.

Meanwhile, permits to enter Victoria from a red zone have been suspended for two weeks.

Only authorised workers and those who apply for and receive an exemption are now able to travel between Victoria and NSW, although border bubble arrangements will remain in place.

with AAP

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