Home | COVID-19 | Victoria virus deaths skyrocket to 41, 22 linked to aged care
Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton looks on as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announcing the latest coronavirus infection. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie

Victoria virus deaths skyrocket to 41, 22 linked to aged care

Victoria has reported 41 coronavirus deaths, a daily record, while new case numbers have dropped to 73.

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.

But Monday’s figure included 22 people who died before August 27 and were reported by aged care facilities on Sunday to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Also on Monday, Victoria’s Police Association has 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 current state of emergency provisions expire on September 13.

A week ago, Premier Daniel Andrews sparked controversy when he announced that 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 the Nine Network.

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

Dr Coatsworth compared the state to NSW and Queensland, which are recording less 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 usage might only return to 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.

The survey predicts trains will only have 69 per cent of their pre-virus usage.

It also flags that one in five commuters are less likely to travel into the CBD, mainly as more will work from home.

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.

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now