Victoria's' deadliest day: Massive surge with 10 deaths, 459 cases

Author
Newstalk ZB / news.com.au,
Publish Date
Sun, 26 Jul 2020, 3:54PM
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media during a daily briefing. Photo / Getty Images

Victoria's' deadliest day: Massive surge with 10 deaths, 459 cases

Author
Newstalk ZB / news.com.au,
Publish Date
Sun, 26 Jul 2020, 3:54PM

The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 459 new Covid-19 cases and 10 new virus-related deaths, making it the state's deadliest day since the pandemic began.

The state's death toll now stands at 71, after seven men and three woman died from the virus overnight.

The age of the men ranged from 40s to 80s and the age of the women ranged from 70s to 80s.

Of the new fatalities, seven were linked to aged-care outbreaks and three were not linked to an outbreak.

"We, of course, send our condolences and best wishes to those families," Premier Daniel Andrews said.

"This will be a terribly difficult time for them, and they are in our thoughts."

Victoria's total number of cases now stands at 8881. There are 228 people in hospital and 42 of those are in intensive care.

560 active aged-care cases

Andrews revealed of the state's 4233 active cases, 560 are in aged care.

"The exact number of settings will be finalised in that release later today, and we have some 381 active cases among healthcare workers," he said.

"That is a significant challenge, given, whilst we have overall capacity and we've worked very hard all throughout the year to grow the number of people that can be available for our fight against this virus in a clinical sense, whenever we have clinical staff and other critical health workers away, furloughed because they are a close contact or in fact as an active case, that does put some additional pressure on our system.

"That's why we are looking at a whole range of innovative ways to grow the total capacity of our health system."

Andrews said about 200 off-roster paramedics and third-year students are helping with contact tracing.

"It is a wildly infectious virus and whether you have underlying complex health issues or whether you are otherwise healthy, people have died from all of those cohorts and more from right around the world," the Premier said.

"So there is no reason for anybody to think that because they are otherwise fit or because they are not in their 80s, then somehow they have essentially got a vaccine for this."

Workplaces 'driving second wave'

Andrews said there were specific sectors "driving" the state's second Covid-19 wave.

He said recent data indicated some people were continuing to go to work despite feeling sick and showing symptoms.

"Aged care, healthcare, big distribution centres, meatworks, cool stores, big warehouses, these workplaces are driving most of this second wave," Andrews said.

"What that tells you is that some people, for whatever reason – not a matter of judgement, just a fact – some people are feeling sick, they have symptoms and they are still going to work."

He said if this continues, the number of daily Covid-19 cases will continue to rise.

Andrews urged anyone with symptoms to get tested, and reminded people there is income support available for those who might struggle if they have to miss out on work.

"There is the income support, if you didn't have sick leave to fall back on. Then while waiting for your test, you've got to stay at home," he said.

"You can't be going out to the shops, you can't be going to work. All that will do is spread the virus."

Warning over never-ending 'chain of transmission'

Victorians have been warned the state could see a never-ending "chain of transmission" if residents don't all do their part by following the restrictions.

Andrews warned the high level of community transmission meant the state risked cases continuing to rise.

"If we're not careful, [there will be] a chain of transmission that just doesn't end," he said.

"We will finish up with many more people dying, many people that are chronically ill for a long period of time. And a health system that won't cope.

"I want businesses to survive. I want people back at work. I want people finding a Covid normal. We can achieve that.

"But the Government can't achieve it for Victoria on its own. Every Victorian has to play a part in that."

Andrews said the poor actions of a few rule-breakers shouldn't diminish the fact the majority of Victorians were following the rules.