Victoria’s deadly Delta outbreak has grown by another 1,173 Covid cases amid fears of a huge surge after protesters celebrated being “superspreaders”.
The health department confirmed on Sunday morning the wildly infectious virus has also claimed another nine lives.
The state is now managing 16,413 active cases, with 568 Victorians being treated in hospital.
There are 96 Covid patients in intensive care including 63 on ventilators — a slight drop from Saturday’s figures.
About 83 per cent of people aged over 12 are fully vaccinated.
‘Superspreaders’ vow to return
The latest figures come as organisers of protests against vaccine mandates and proposed pandemic laws threaten to march every week until their demands are met.
A crowd of self-proclaimed superspreaders marched through Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday in a bid to “kill the bill” which will go before the Victorian Upper House that would give the government specific powers in a pandemic.
These would be used as an alternative to state of emergency declarations that need to be renewed every four weeks.
Protesters cheered as a man took to the stage to “thank” his “fellow superspreaders”.
“Tomorrow the hospitals will be full,” he said.
The Public Health and Wellbeing (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 needs the support of three of the 11 crossbenchers to pass and give the premier the power to declare a pandemic and extend emergency conditions for three months at a time for as long as considered necessary.
The final day of the Melbourne Cup racing carnival also went ahead on Saturday after deep cleaning was carried out in response to two positive cases in a contractor and a patron at the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.