Daniel Andrews makes Victorians wait another day to hear when the FIFTH state lockdown will finally end as 11 new cases are registered – as protesters are criticized for ‘smug tantrum’, risking weeks of more misery
Daniel Andrews will have Victorians wait another day to find out when the fifth state lockdown will end as 11 new cases have been registered.
The Victorian Prime Minister told reporters on Sunday morning that health experts should look at the number of new infections on Monday before deciding whether to ease restrictions on Tuesday, as planned.
“Hopefully we can relax some of these restrictions and rules from midnight Tuesday, but we’ll have to see what tomorrow’s numbers look like,” he said.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said “several” of the state’s 179 cases are in hospital, two in intensive care and one on a ventilator.
Daniel Andrews wouldn’t say if Victorians will be out of lockdown on Tuesday as planned
All new cases recorded on Sunday were in quarantine during their infection period and all are related to current outbreaks.
Sutton also knocked down anyone who threw a ‘smug tantrum’ by attending Melbourne’s anti-lockdown ‘super spreader’ protest on Saturday.
“It’s very frustrating at this critical time,” he said.
Police have made six arrests in the city and are looking for a protester who allegedly threw a large pole at a mounted officer.
The charges that arose from that protest included drug possession and refusing to provide contact information to police and at least one was charged with assaulting a counselor.
Another 70 demonstrators in Melbourne face fines, but police believe the number will rise.
Victoria managed to deliver 17,370 doses of vaccine in the 24 hours to Sunday, with 32,385 virus tests conducted over the same period.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Saturday the state was “on track” for a planned easing of restrictions on Tuesday, but declined to confirm.
Victoria registered 12 new locally acquired cases on Saturday, 10 of them quarantined throughout their infectious period and also all linked to current outbreaks.
The numbers continue an encouraging downward trend in new diagnoses after 14 cases were reported on Friday and 26 on Thursday.
Prof Sutton introduced a new travel designation for NSW late Friday, making the entire state an “extreme risk zone” retroactive to July 9.
This makes it difficult for Victorians in NSW to come home unless they get a rare exemption or have an itemized work permit.
“It’s very strict when it comes to the movement of people across the border,” he said.
Asked on Saturday whether Victoria could expect an easing of her own restrictions on Tuesday as planned, Prof Sutton said the signs were positive, but he declined to commit.
Health Minister Martin Foley insists NSW’s risk designation is a natural sequence of attempts to protect Victoria and not related to Prime Minister Daniel Andrews’ call for a ‘ring of steel’ blockade around Sydney.
He also moved on Saturday to wash away the idea of tensions with NSW over a lack of willingness to divert vaccines to the virus-ridden suburbs of Sydney.
Mr Foley said Victoria and other states had “legitimate demands” for scarce vaccines for July and August, which had already been allocated to them on a population basis.
However, he welcomed recent reports of Pfizer reserve doses in the national stash and said he would be happy if those were sent to NSW.
Meanwhile, an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne was violently ended on Saturday when police used pepper spray to clear the crowd.
Thousands of protesters of all ages chanted ‘freedom’ as they gathered outside Victoria’s Parliament House.
“We can all argue the merits of different approaches to transmission management, but let’s not pretend that ‘marching for freedom’ will actually deliver the precious freedom we all need and desire,” Prof Sutton later tweeted.
On Saturday, more than 22,000 Victorians were listed as primary close contacts at home, while about 2,500 MCG contacts prepared to be released after 14 days of incarceration.