Worst day yet - Victoria Covid-19 cases soar to horror levels

Publish Date
Mon, 27 Jul 2020, 4:10PM
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media during a press conference in Melbourne. (Photo / AP)
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media during a press conference in Melbourne. (Photo / AP)

Worst day yet - Victoria Covid-19 cases soar to horror levels

Publish Date
Mon, 27 Jul 2020, 4:10PM

Victoria has recorded 532 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

Premier Daniels Andrews said six new deaths have been recorded in the same period, including a man in his 50s.

A female in her 90s, a female in her 80s, a man in his 80s, a female in her 70s, and a male in his 70s have also died.

Five of those six deaths are connected to outbreaks in aged care.

Andrews says there are now 4542 total active cases in the state.

He says a total of 683 active cases are connected in some way to aged care.

He says around 400 health workers are active cases as of the situation report first thing this morning.

He also revealed the "biggest driver" of cases, saying that lockdown will not end and cases will continue to rise if Victorians don't stop going to work with symptoms.

"This is what is driving these numbers up and the lockdown will not end until people stop going to work with symptoms and instead go and get tested because they have symptoms," he said.

"It's not a matter of blame, it's not a matter of judgment, these are the facts and unless we see a change, then we're going to continue to see these numbers at unacceptably high levels. So, please, do something that we will all be so grateful for – act on your symptoms.

"This is the biggest driver, it's not the only issue, but it is the biggest driver of transmission. It is the biggest driver of these numbers going up rather than going down."

Meanwhile, New South Wales has recorded 17 new infections of Covid-19. Eight of those new cases are in hotel quarantine.

The grim news comes as a grieving son has issued a powerful plea to Victorians on national television after saying goodbye to his coronavirus-stricken father on FaceTime.

Nicholas Barboussas lost his 79-year-old father Paul to the disease on Sunday afternoon. His father had been living at St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Melbourne, which has now seen 78 cases of Covid-19.

The situation was made even worse by the fact that he thought his father was out of harm's way less than 72 hours ago.

"Put on your mask, listen to the Premier, to the chief health officer," he told Australia's Today show.

"A lot of people that are currently active are between the ages of 20 and 40. You are not invincible. And if you think you are invincible … please think of your grandparents, your parents, your co-workers, the lady in front of you in the checkout at the local supermarket and before you take that first step out of your front door, put on your mask."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has compared Victoria's coronavirus outbreaks to those in Europe earlier in the year.

He says the state has a "long way to go" before community transmission is under control.

"We are still seeing case numbers at elevated levels and so, as we have seen from other jurisdictions, when you get community-based transmission, it does take some time to get that down.

"We saw that in the UK. We saw it in Europe.

"So, we just ask for the continued co-operation and goodwill of the people of Melbourne and Victoria more broadly to ensure that we can get on top of this and even will continue to work together to that end."

However, he said the situation in NSW is "a lot better".

"The work that is being done to trace cases, to known sources, has been very effective that gives us obviously a lot more cause for confidence in New South Wales."

75 Victorians could die this week

The Herald Sun reports there are predictions up to 75 people could die from the virus in the state this week.

It would follow a worldwide trend where when virus cases rise, hospitalisations and deaths follow seven to 10 days later.

Mirroring the increase in case numbers from 10 days earlier, across the past seven days, the state's death toll reads one, three, two, five, seven, five and 10.

Victorians have been sparking outrage refusing to wear masks over the weekend, filming themselves confronting police or store employees.

Deputy national chief medical officer, Dr Nick Coatsworth, said videos of Victorians openly defying mask rules in stores were "deeply disturbing".

In particular he drew attention to a woman who was slammed after her outburst at Bunnings staff members in the Melbourne suburb of Narre Warren on Friday.

"It's clearly very disturbing when you see that sort of footage of one Australian citizen putting others in a very difficult situation and I just want to commend the Bunnings staff," he told the Today show.

"I have seen the footage myself. They did a remarkable job staying calm against behaviour that is frankly unacceptable. What we can take away is that the vast majority of Australians find them unacceptable."

Coatsworth said it wasn't a human rights issue to decide not to wear a mask.

"It's such a simple intervention.

"I just can't see how it takes away someone's human rights or individual liberty to just have to put a face covering on at the request of government. It is simple. We know it's effective. We know it's the time to do it."