Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is urging people to follow the lockdown rules. Image by Daniel Pockett/AAP PHOTOS

Health

Vic records COVID-19 death, 273 new cases

2020-07-13 16:16:39

Premier Daniel Andrews has issued a plea to all Victorians to follow the latest lockdown rules, as the state recorded 273 new cases and another death. 

He said health authorities could not contain the virus on their own, with those in locked-down metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire urged to limit their movement. 

“We need every Victorian to acknowledge that you are on the frontline. Don’t leave it to nurses and doctors to be the last line of defence,” Mr Andrews told reporters on Sunday. 

“We all need to make smart choices for ourselves and each other. That is the only way we will stabilise these numbers and drive them down.”

The Premier also warned police were not mucking about, as “no-one has the luxury of being able to do the wrong thing” thinking that it will only affect them.

Just in the last 24 hours, police have issued 119 fines to people breaking lockdown rules.

Mr Andrews confirmed a man in his 70s died from the virus overnight on Saturday, taking the national toll to 108. 

It comes after great-grandfather Alf Jordan, 90, died in hospital on Friday night after falling ill at a Werribee aged care facility just three days earlier.

There are now 1484 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, with 57 people currently in hospital with the virus and 16 of those in intensive care. 

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the pandemic had not yet reached its peak and authorities were throwing “absolutely everything at it”.

“It is the public health challenge of our lifetime. The biggest for 100 years since the Spanish flu,” he said. 

Professor Sutton said he was particularly concerned about outbreaks in hospitals and aged care facilities in recent days, which have forced hundreds of workers deemed close contacts into quarantine. 

There are 11 coronavirus cases linked to Brunswick Private Hospital, eight to the Alfred Hospital and two to Box Hill Hospital.

Eleven people have also tested positive at Menarock Life Aged Care Facility in Essendon, while 12 cases were recorded at Glendale Aged Care Facility in Werribee.

“The workforces know what to do but it is a risk that can’t be mitigated down to zero,” Professor Sutton said.

“I have been an emergency department doctor for years and they are brave and they are brilliant in responding to the challenges of positive cases that need to be managed there.”

There are 237 cases linked to public housing blocks in Flemington and North Melbourne, but Professor Sutton warned the number could be much greater.  

Twenty-eight people at a public housing tower in Carlton have also tested positive to the virus.

The state has recorded a week of triple-digit increases in new cases, including a record 288 infections on Friday. 

Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are again under stage three restriction until at least August 19 because of the spike in new cases. 

People in those areas are only allowed to leave home for food and supplies, receive or provide care, exercise, and study or work if they can’t do so from home.

Students in prep to year 10 in the locked-down areas will return to online learning from July 20 as part of efforts to minimise the movement of people. 

“These next six weeks are not an ordinary winter. We all have to play our part, we cannot ignore the circumstances we face,” Mr Andrews said.

“Nobody wanted to be in this position, but this is where we find ourselves.”