Victoria records 116 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours and 15 deaths

Victoria records another 116 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours and 15 deaths – the lowest since Stage 4 restrictions began

  • Victoria reported lowest rise in COVID-19 infections in seven weeks on Monday
  • Embattled state recorded 116 new cases and 15 additional fatalities on Monday 
  • The deaths bring the states toll to 430 and national death figure to 517 

Victoria has reported its lowest rise in COVID-19 infections in seven weeks with 116 new cases and 15 additional fatalities on Monday.

The number is the embattled state’s lowest amount of new COVID-19 cases since July 5, when 67 cases were diagnosed.  

The latest fatalities bring the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 430 and the national figure to 517.  

But the number of new cases plummeted to 116 from Sunday’s figure of 208.

Victoria has reported its lowest rise in COVID-19 infections in seven weeks with 116 new cases and 15 additional fatalities on Monday (Bourke St Mall in Melbourne pictured during Stage 4 lockdown) 

Victoria has reported its lowest rise in COVID-19 infections in seven weeks with 116 new cases and 15 additional fatalities on Monday (Women wearing masks in Ballarat)

The once popular Royal Arcade mall in Melbourne CBD is quiet and deserted with Stage Four lockdown closing almost all non-food retail

It comes as halfway through lockdown, Victoria’s chief health officer has defiantly declared he won’t let the state’s hard-fought COVID-19 gains slip.

Brett Sutton had predicted on Sunday that numbers could dip below 150 this week.

He added although the daily case numbers had been ‘jumping around’, he expected they are on a downward trajectory.

He was still upbeat after the new cases went back above 200 on Sunday.

‘We’re not going to see 300 and 400 (cases) again in Victoria under my watch, at least,’ he told reporters.

‘We’re applying a strategy that is driving cases down.’

With 3,920 so-called mystery cases, Prof Sutton warned restrictions would not be lifted in full until community transmission is eradicated.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the weekend’s bad weather was an ‘absolute blessing’ and hoped it meant more people stayed at home.

The premier warned that Victoria will be smashed by a ‘third wave’ if lockdowns are lifted too early.

It comes as halfway through lockdown, Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton has defiantly declared he won’t let the state’s hard-fought COVID-19 gains slip

Iconic Hosier Lane within Melbourne CBD is also empty as no one is allowed to wander around

The crippling Stage Four lockdown is scheduled to end on September 13, but the government has refused to rule out extending it. 

Melbourne residents still have at least another three weeks of stage four restrictions including an overnight curfew, while regional Victorians are living under slightly less onerous level three restrictions.

As new case numbers tumble while Victorians are confined to their homes, Mr Andrews is fending off calls to relax restrictions early.

The premier acknowledged everyone wanted to get back to ‘something approaching normal’ as fast as possible, but it couldn’t be too soon. 

‘Whether we like it or not, we have to acknowledge this key point: if we start opening up before we have defeated this second wave, then we’ll just be in the beginnings of a third wave,’ he said.

‘That is of no benefit to anybody. It will just mean that people – we might all feel a little bit better for a very short amount of time and then the numbers will grow and we’ll be back to where we are now.’

Medical staff conduct a COVID-19 test on a patient at the drive through coronavirus testing facility in Ballarat on Friday

Premier Daniel Andrews said the weekend’s bad weather was an ‘absolute blessing’ and hoped it meant more people stayed at home 

Mr Andrews again signalled restrictions will remain until there is a vaccine, and the goal was few cases not elimination.

‘We have got to beat this thing and get these numbers down to such a low level that we can keep a lid on them,’ he said.

‘Not just for a week or two, but indeed have them suppressed, have it extinguished to the greatest extent possible, but have it suppressed with every likelihood that we can maintain those low numbers until of course the ultimate vaccine arrives.’ 

But his rhetoric indicated that even if Melbourne got out of Stage Four on time, it would be stuck in Stage Three for weeks or months longer.  

While Prof Sutton predicted numbers could dip below 150 this week, he said restrictions would not be lifted in full until community transmission was eradicated.

He also said Melburnians would be wearing face masks in public beyond the easing of Stage Four. 

Mr Andrews said masks would remain part of life for a long time, along with careful hand-washing and physical distancing. 

Hearings for the state’s inquiry into the failed hotel quarantine program will resume on Monday with more testimony from hotel security staff. 

The inquiry last week heard poor-performing security guards were moved between the quarantine hotels, while returned travellers feared catching COVID-19 during their stay.  

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