Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the gloomy overnight figures for Melbourne on Thursday with 317 new COVID-19 infections, the largest number recorded since the crisis began.
Premier Andrews announced the death of two more men in their 80s overnight, bringing the total number of state deaths to 29. There are 109 people in hospital of which 29 are in intensive care.
The figures for Victoria are concerning as the total number of cases in Australia was 469 on 28 March, the peak of the crisis.
Premier Andrews said 28,607 coronavirus tests were performed, and he was grateful to those who got tested. “Can I thank those nearly 29,000 Victorians who came forward and got tested yesterday. It’s a massive and powerful contribution to our fight against the virus. You can’t contain this if you don’t know where it is and the most important thing for people to do, apart from of course following the rules, using commonsense and good judgement, to come forward and get tested even if you have to most moderate and mildest of symptoms,” Premier Andrews said, adding that it “will take some time to bring stability to the numbers and start to see a pattern where they are driven down”.
Despite the numbers Premier Andrews said it is “too early for us to be moving to a whole new stage”.
Victoria’s Health minister Jenny Mikakos said Victoria is equipped with 1,000 intensive care beds following a $1.9bn investment announced at the start of the pandemic.
“The old Peter Mac hospital was one of those projects,” she said. This has been a $30 million project to recommission 84 additional beds that are now available to our hospital system.”
Ms Mikakos said Victoria will pause non-urgent elective surgery as had been the case in march for the same reason, however elective surgery will continue as usual. The purpose of this is to create additional capacity in hospitals.
Major outbreaks in Victoria
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the state’s health authorities are currently monitoring 160 outbreaks.
Below are some of the major ones:
- 157 cases at Al-Tarqua College
- 37 cases at Somerville retail services in Tottenham
- 31 cases at Menarock Life aged care facility in Essendon
- 29 cases at JBS abattoir
- 23 cases at Glendale aged care, Werribee
- 21 cases at Estia health aged, Camberwell
- Six cases at HWL Ebsworth lawyers
- Five cases at St Basil’s home for the aged in Fawkner