Victoria confirms 75 new COVID-19 cases
29 June 2020, Written by David Simmons
The Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos has confirmed 75 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the state's total to 2,099.
In Victoria, this is the highest new daily case rate since 31 March when 96 new cases were reported.
The highest peak in Victoria to date was on 28 March when there were 111 confirmed new COVID-19 cases.
Of the cases confirmed today, 71 are new with the other four reclassified after being indeterminate.
One of the new cases is a person quarantining in a hotel, 14 are from local outbreaks and 37 have come from routine testing. The other 23 cases are still being investigated.
There have been no new deaths, but there are 288 active cases in Victoria. Nine of these cases are in hospital with one in intensive care.
15,000 tests have been completed since yesterday as part of the state's testing blitz which has seen 53,000 tests completed since commencement.
The new cases are "overwhelmingly" concentrated in Melbourne's 'hot spot' areas according to Mikakos, particularly in the inner northern and western suburbs of the Victorian capital.
The news comes as Victoria has officially hit its "second peak" in COVID-19 cases over the weekend, according to Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.
New measures for overseas travellers were imposed on Sunday: the state has made testing mandatory for those quarantining in hotels after returning from overseas. For those that do not comply with the order an extra 10 days will be added to the two-week quarantine period.
Testing is also ongoing in 10 Victorian hotspots: Keilor Downs, Broadmeadows, Maidstone, Albanvale, Sunshine West, Hallam, Brunswick West, Fawkner, Reservoir and Pakenham.
Despite the large increase in COVID-19 cases today the Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has not announced a lockdown for Victoria or COVID-19 hotspots yet.
"We know what will turn this around, and it's people stepping forward for testing, but also isolating when they've got symptoms," says Sutton.
"I think there's still an opportunity for that to turn around. But if it isn't, absolutely public health directions, changing the law, is something that we have to consider because we have to do whatever is required to turn this around.
"It would be a harder step, but it's got to be proportionate. We know what the consequences are of a lockdown in terms of fatigue and people's behaviours, we don't want to drive people out of suburban areas into new unaffected areas. So there's a balancing act in terms of making the call on lockdown."
10 million COVID-19 cases confirmed worldwide
It also comes after globally confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed the 10 million mark on Sunday, with the global death toll inching past 500,000 too.
2.5 million of those 10 million cases are in the United States, with Brazil (~1.3 million), Russia (~600,000), India (~500,000) and the United Kingdom (~300,000) rounding out the top five global hot spots for COVID-19.
The rate of new COVID-19 cases in Victoria is comparable to Austria and the Netherlands, where those two countries reported 74 and 73 cases respectively. However, both the European countries have significantly higher total COVID-19 numbers than Australia, with 17,654 in Austria and 50,147 in the Netherlands.
In Australia there have been seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today in New South Wales, whilst in Queensland there have been no reported cases of the coronavirus.
In South Australia restrictions ease further today as the state moves to Stage 3, with pub gaming areas, spas and saunas able to reopen.
Physical distancing requirements in SA venues will halve today and seated food court dining will reopen too.
Updated at 11:37am AEST on 29 June 2020.
Author: David Simmons