Victoria has recorded its first two deaths from the novel coronavirus.
Two men in their 70s who tested positive for COVID-19 have passed away overnight, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton revealed on Thursday morning.
The two Victorian deaths takes the national death toll to 11.
Speaking to Melbourne radio station 3AW this morning, he said the two deaths come as cases in Victoria surged passed 500.
“They're our first deaths,” he said.
“But in a sense they're not unexpected. We're now up to 520 cases, so two deaths amongst 500 is relatively small looking at the global figures.”
Prof Sutton said there was cause for some optimism that travel restrictions introduced in recent weeks have begun to slow the daily rise in known cases in the state.
“I think I said [previously] the numbers of travellers returning has fallen away very sharply and because a lot of our cases were imported cases from travellers, that this might happen.
“But we shouldn't be complacent,” he said, imploring people to stay away from each another.
“There will be a number of their contacts and potentially other community transmission cases that will grow over time if we don't stay away from each other.”
Earlier this week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews flagged the potential for the state to move independently from the rest of the country with introducing stricter lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.