Vic has 12 virus deaths, 113 new cases

Victoria has had another 12 coronavirus deaths, taking the state toll to 497 and the national figure to 584.

There were 113 new cases on Friday for the second day in a row.

The latest figures come with Victorians warned the state must return to lowered rates of infection not seen since early July before Premier Daniel Andrews spells out how restrictions will be eased.

The daily case number has been below 150 for the past five days.

Most key statistics are showing the worst of Victoria’s second outbreak is over and there is growing anticipation about lifting some restrictions.

Melbourne’s stage-four lockdown and the stage-three rules for regional Victoria are due to end on September 13.

But Mr Andrews insists it is too early to go into detail about returning to some semblance of normality, only saying a roadmap will be made public “soon”.

Instead the government and health authorities want to see daily case numbers drop further.

Thursday’s figure was the lowest since the July 5 tally of 74 – also the last time it was below 100.

On July 4, the number had hit 108 and nine Melbourne public housing towers entered their hard lockdown – an early sign of how bad the second outbreak was to become.

“At 100-plus cases a day, we cannot open up right now,” Mr Andrews said.

“As painful and as challenging as this is, I think (Victorians) understand that fact.

“That’s why we’re working as hard as we possibly can to drive the numbers down further. Once we achieve that, we will be able to outline clear plans.”

Victoria is in the depths of lockdown fatigue, with police vowing to end daily protests that have happened this week in suburban Dandenong.

A large police presence greeted the latest protest on Thursday night, with about 100 people in attendance.

Two men were arrested at the gathering after allegedly failing to provide identification for breaching the chief health officer’s directions and police issued a further 17 fines.

Data from the Coroners Court shows the Victorian suicide rate has not increased so far this year, despite concerns about the toll COVID-19 and lockdowns are taking on mental health.

A Roy Morgan poll released on Thursday also showed a large majority of Victorians support government restrictions such as mandatory mask wearing and Melbourne’s 8pm-5am curfew.

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