Victoria recorded 2,232 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases (from 79,000 test results) and 12 deaths on Thursday, as the state prepares to exit the world’s longest lockdown from midnight.

There were an additional three cases acquired overseas.

From the 187 people have died during the current Delta outbreak, there have been at least 30 deaths of Melburnians of Greek origin in the last fortnight alone, and at least another five deaths in Sydney according to Neos Kosmos own research. At least three, were unvaccinated elderly people who had been infected by their children or grandchildren. The total number of Greek Melburnians who died after being infected by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic is at least 180 people when taking into account the 150 deaths during the second wave of the pandemic which swept through nursing homes.

READ MORE: Victoria records 1903 COVID-19 cases and seven deaths, as state is set to open

Today’s case number is the highest since the record number of new cases were reached last Thursday with 2,297 cases, and there are now 22,889 cases in the state.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Victorians have survived the “battle of a generation” as the state edges towards its 70 per cent vaccination milestone. It came closer to its goal as more than 37,000 vaccines were administered by state services.

The hospitality industry is preparing to open its doors at midnight tonight. Philhellene owner Yiannis Rerakis told Neos Kosmos he has been inundated with calls for bookings since the day of the government’s announcement for the easing of restrictions.

“Twenty customers are better than none,” he said.

“My clients are enthused. The weather is getting better, celebrations are coming and the psychology of people is changing.”

Mr Rerakis is concerned with how the vaccinated will be monitored. “I am not a policeman, My job is to offer food to people and to ensure they leave happy, something which I know how to do after all these years,” he said, adding that people making reservations volunteer their vaccination status upfront.