Daniel Andrews says it's too early to talk about the easing of Victoria's COVID-19 restrictions. Image by James Ross/AAP PHOTOS

politics

Vic has 12 virus deaths, 113 new cases

2020-08-28 12:33:38

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.

New case numbers have been below 150 since Monday, raising anticipation about the easing of Victoria’s restrictions.

On Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews again gave no details about when the government would announce the new rules for the state.

But he made it clear that there will be no immediate shift back to stage one or two rules.

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

“The notion we would go from stage four to stage two or stage one, all those businesses would be open like a normal second half of the year, normal spring, we’re not going to be able to do that,” Mr Andrews said.

“It will have to be gradual and steady because we’ve all got to be really careful to make sure nothing we do makes it more likely that we find ourselves back here at exactly this place.

“We want to defeat the second wave and properly.

“That means we can avoid a third wave or it’s much more likely that we can then find that COVID-19 normal and have a longer term plan which gets us well into 2021, hopefully with a vaccine during next year, and then things are in a different place.”

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

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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