World News

Forty one cases, seven COVID-19 deaths in Victoria as ‘buddy bubble’ day looms

Victoria has recorded 41 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, with seven additional deaths across the state.

The numbers come as Victoria prepares for changes to Stage Four lock down on Monday, including changes to the curfew for metropolitan Melbourne and allowances for those living alone to see a friend.

From 11.59pm on Sunday, single people living alone and single parents with children under 18 will be able to nominate one person to socially visit.

There has been some push back against the stringent rules set out for the singles bubble, as masks must be warn during any 'bubble buddy' visits, and if your nominated person lives with other people those people must leave the home during the visit.

People from metropolitan Melbourne can not pair up with those from regional Victoria.

Metropolitan Melbourne's curfew will change to 9pm to 5am, while two people or a household able to meet outdoors socially for two hours within five kilometres of their home. Melburnians will also be able to spend a maximum of two hours exercising outside of their home.

In regional Victoria, public gatherings of up to five people from two different households will be possible from 11.59pm Sunday.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton suggested on Saturday that authorities could revisit the target for an average of less than five cases daily over 14 days, which metropolitan Melbourne needs to achieve by October 26 to have curfew lifted and to reopen outdoor dining at cafes and restaurants.

"It is possible that we will get to a point where the numbers are higher, but we will investigate those numbers, we will see where they are occurring and why they are occurring and how they are occurring, and we will make a judgment about whether five is the appropriate target," he said.

"Or if it is 10 cases a day but eight are in aged care – and that is not inconceivable – we will absolutely focus our attention on containing all transmission within aged care, but otherwise lifting for the community."

Writing in The Age, University of Melbourne epidemiologist Tony Blakely said authorities should consider easing the requirement to move from stage three to stage two – which currently would require cases to fall to fewer than five a day over 14 days, and fewer than five mystery cases over 14 days.

"By this standard, NSW would be in stage three," he wrote.

"I propose that we can relax the triggers to attain transition from stage three to stage two if cases are clustered. If mystery cases are low."

On Saturday, the state recorded 37 coronavirus cases, bringing the number of active cases to 1251, and six additional deaths.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 723 people have died from the virus in Victoria.

Most Viewed in National

Source: Read Full Article