Victoria has 41 deaths as cases drop to 73

Victoria has reported 41 coronavirus deaths, an Australian daily record, although only 19 of the fatalities are new.

It takes the state’s death toll to 565 and the national figure to 652.

The previous highest daily toll was 25 on August 17.

When the Department of Health and Human Services released the daily figures on Monday, it explained that 22 of the fatalities were people who died before August 27.

They were reported by aged care facilities to the DHHS on Sunday.

The previous national record was 25 on August 17.

But there was more good news on new case numbers, with 73 the lowest figure for Victoria since July. 

Also on Monday, Victoria’s Police Association called for state of emergency powers to be extended.

It comes as negotiations continue between the state government and crossbenchers over what should happen when the state of emergency provisions expire on September 13.

A week ago, Premier Daniel Andrews sparked controversy when he announced the government wanted to extend the powers by 12 months to help deal with the coronavirus.

With the opposition immediately saying it would not support the proposal, the government was forced into negotiations with crossbenchers.

There has been talk of a compromise, with the extension reduced to six months, but there is no confirmation ahead of parliament returning on Tuesday.

Now the police association, a powerful lobby group, has released a statement on the issue.

“With 13 days to run on this current state of emergency, it is essential that parliament moves to maintain the framework that provides police and PSOs (public safety officers) with the capacity to help Victoria safely come out of lockdown,” it said.

“There can be no adequate plan for a return to some normality, if the framework designed to ensure it’s done safely and incrementally, is removed.

“This issue is above politics. The safety of our community and our members in this precarious time is too important.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said on Monday morning it was difficult to see Melbourne coming out of its stage four restrictions on September 13, given the current numbers.

New cases dropped to 94 on Saturday but were back to 114 on Sunday before Monday’s drop to 73.

“It’s hard to see that happening,” Dr Coatsworth told Nine Network.

“I think the numbers need to be a lot less than they are now.”

Dr Coatsworth compared the state with NSW and Queensland, which are recording fewer than 10 new daily cases.

A study also predicts Melbourne could face increased traffic gridlock once stage four restrictions ease because people are nervous about using public transport.

As Mr Andrews continues to give no detail on when the restrictions might ease or what that will look like, a new survey paints a grim picture of what coronavirus concerns could do to Melbourne traffic.

The Monash Public Transport Research Group says once restrictions ease, public transport use might return to only 80 per cent of pre-virus levels.

“If these numbers are correct, we’re going to see an awful lot of gridlock,” Professor Graham Currie said.

Metropolitan Melbourne is subject to another fortnight of strict stage four restrictions, including an 8pm to 5am curfew and a ban on travelling beyond a five-kilometre radius of home.

Regional Victoria is under slightly less strict stage three restrictions.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.