Victoria recorded another 19 deaths on Tuesday and 331 new COVID-19 cases overnight.

The figure brings the state’s coronavirus death toll to 247 and the national figure to 332, with fourteen of the 19 deaths related to aged care. One man was in his 70s, six women in their 80s, four men in their 80s, four women in their 90s and three men in thier 90s were amont those who died.

Victorians have been warned to expect more deaths but there are homes that the state numbers would stabilise.

Premier Daniel Andrews said that 24,000 businesses had received $5000 support payments since the announcement of new restrictions, resulting in funding of $120 million.

In an inquiry hearing on Tuesday morning, Mr Andrews was the first witness called at the second sitting of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee’s COVID-19 Inquiry.

Mr Andrews repeatedly refused to apologise for ‘catastrophically’ letting down Victorians during the hotel quarantine outbreak which sparked Victoria’s second wave.

The premier laid out the “end game” for the current lockdown restrictions in Melbourne. He said the “endpoint is to lower numbers” so that we “can have confidence that we can manage” other outbreaks as well as “the inevitable transmission that we will see”.

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He spoke of the impact that the isolation is having on people and an increased demand for services across the mental health system.

“The other issue, too, is that there will be people for the first time, because of the extraordinary stress and the strain and anxiety and uncertainty that’s associated with all of 2020, pretty much, they’ll be experiencing mental illness for the first time. And some of those will need care,” he said.