Vic records fifth day with no COVID cases

Victoria has gone five days without recording a coronavirus case. 

The Health Department confirmed there were no new local or overseas acquired cases recorded on Wednesday, following 20,201 tests.

There remain 20 active cases of COVID-19 in the state, a decrease in five since Tuesday. 

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said 675 frontline health workers and hotel quarantine staff received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. 

A total of 1255 Victorians have had the jab since Monday’s rollout began, excluding residents in aged care, who are being vaccinated by mobile units overseen by the federal government.

About 12,000 doses of the vaccine have been allocated to the state this week. 

Ms Allan said she was aware two aged care residents in Queensland had been given an overdose of the vaccine and said it was a matter for the federal government. 

“We are taking a very steady, careful and cautious approach to the roll out of the vaccine because it’s a big job to do,” she told reporters.

“The advice is the vaccine continues to be a very safe procedure to take part in. It’s going to be such an important procedure as it helps us get through this coronavirus pandemic.”

Ms Allan also confirmed COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria will trial the use of robots in hotel quarantine to monitor hotel quarantine breaches. 

The new technology is one of many being considered and is not designed to replace humans, she says.

“It is not going to replace any existing staff, whether they’re police or other staff that operate across the quarantine program,” Ms Allan said.

Meanwhile, thousands of Victorians remain in self-isolation after coming into contact with cases linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak.

A total of 22 cases have been traced back to a family of three staying on the third floor of the Melbourne Airport hotel in early February, who contracted the highly-infectious UK strain of the virus overseas.

Fears the virus would spread into the community led to a five-day “circuit-breaker” lockdown, which ended last Thursday.

Some restrictions, including mask-wearing and strict gathering limits, remain until Friday when the last close contacts end 14 days of isolation. 

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