Victoria is tipped to announce nearly 400 new COVID-19 cases

Victoria records 397 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths with an even harsher lockdown imminent – as expert warns Australia’s coronavirus capital will soon face 1,000 infections a day

  • Victoria tipped to announce nearly 400 new coronavirus cases on Saturday
  • New modelling also shows COVID-19 cases are doubling every 16 days
  • Expert Deborah Cromer said the virus was not contained and ‘not under control’
  • According to figures Victoria could record 1,000 new daily cases by mid-August 

Victoria has recorded 397 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths with harsher lockdowns looming within days. 

State premier Daniel Andrews announced the figures on Saturday with 37 linked to outbreaks and 360 currently under investigation.

A man and woman in their 80s and another woman in her 90s have died overnight, raising the state’s death toll to 116. 

The figure comes as new modelling shows COVID-19 cases are doubling every 16 days in the state with worrying predictions as many as 1,000 daily cases could be recorded by mid-August. 

Victoria is tipped to announce nearly 400 new coronavirus cases with harsher lockdowns potentially on the horizon (pictured, a clinical waste removal personnel at St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Fawkner, Melbourne)

Victoria is tipped to announce nearly 400 new coronavirus cases with harsher lockdowns potentially on the horizon (pictured, a clinical waste removal personnel at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner, Melbourne)

Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured, arriving at the press conference on Saturday) said on Friday has said he cannot lift lockdown, which is set to end in mid-August, in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire when COVID-19 cases are so high

Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured, arriving at the press conference on Saturday) said on Friday has said he cannot lift lockdown, which is set to end in mid-August, in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire when COVID-19 cases are so high

Victoria recorded 397 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

Victoria recorded 397 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

Only on Thursday, Victoria recorded the highest ever daily spike of COVID-19 cases in the country with 723 cases and 13 deaths.

University of NSW’s Kirby Institute mathematical biologist Deborah Cromer admitted to The Australian the virus had not been contained. 

‘I would have to say it is not under control at this point.’ 

According to the projection, 723 new cases could be recorded next Friday, 899 new cases marked on the following Wednesday and 1,118 cases tallied the Monday afterwards.  

There are 5,743 active cases and Victoria’s total deaths now number 113, bringing the national figure to 197.

The postcode with the most active cases is 3029 with 346 cases across Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit and Truganina in Melbourne’s west. 

Police Minister Lisa Neville said on Saturday more than 200,000 police checks had taken place across the state while more than 452,000 car checks were carried out.

She noted some Victorians were still breaking restrictions and labelled the behaviour as ‘appalling’.

‘The overwhelming majority of Victorians every day are doing the right thing,’ she said.

The state's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed a New Zealand-style lockdown, which saw all businesses except for essential services closed, was being explored (pictured, clinical waste is disposed at Epping Gardens Aged Care Facility in Epping, Melbourne)

The state’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed a New Zealand-style lockdown, which saw all businesses except for essential services closed, was being explored (pictured, clinical waste is disposed at Epping Gardens Aged Care Facility in Epping, Melbourne)

Military personnel patrol the Epping Gardens Aged Care Facility in Epping, Melbourne

Military personnel patrol the Epping Gardens Aged Care Facility in Epping, Melbourne

Clinical waste removal personnel work at the St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Fawkner, Melbourne

Clinical waste removal personnel work at the St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner, Melbourne

‘However, we are still continuing to see appalling behaviour. I’m fed up with it, Victorian Police are fed up with it.’

Ms Neville noted among the fines handed out was a driver who tried to enter Wodonga for a Big Mac. 

Another person was fined for driving from Melbourne to Ballarat to get some ‘fresh air’ while another driver went from Werribee to Springvale for their grocery shop. 

Mr Andrews said community transmission remained a top priority and cited 49 ‘mystery’ cases.  

‘Those community transmission cases are of greatest concern to us.

‘The challenge is that they are a mystery and this is all about trying to know as much as you possibly can, as much intelligence and evidence and data as you possibly can.’

Opposition leader Michael O'Brien said there should be harsher punishments for breaching isolation rules such as monitoring bracelets and higher fines (pictured, a resident is taken into an ambulance at St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Fawkner, Melbourne)

Opposition leader Michael O’Brien said there should be harsher punishments for breaching isolation rules such as monitoring bracelets and higher fines (pictured, a resident is taken into an ambulance at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner, Melbourne)

Melbourne locals pictured wearing face masks during a walk along Morell Bridge on July 24

Melbourne locals pictured wearing face masks during a walk along Morell Bridge on July 24

Military staff monitor a Melbourne aged care facility as it grapples with an outbreak of COVID-19

Military staff monitor a Melbourne aged care facility as it grapples with an outbreak of COVID-19

Health officials are also weighing up whether stay-at-home orders in place across Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are doing enough.

Experts are working over the weekend to analyse infection data from the first half of Victoria’s six-week lockdown.

The state’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed a New Zealand-style lockdown, which saw all businesses except for essential services closed, was being explored.

Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are about halfway through stage three restrictions which are due to end in mid-August.

‘We cannot open up with these numbers, we cannot open up with significantly less than these numbers,’ Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday.

His warning came after it was revealed that an alarming number of Victorians with COVID-19 are not staying home, with more than 100 referred to police.  

New modelling shows COVID-19 cases are doubling every 16 days in the state with worrying predictions as many as 1,000 cases could be recorded by mid-August (pictured, a clinical waste removal personnel at St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Fawkner, Melbourne)

New modelling shows COVID-19 cases are doubling every 16 days in the state with worrying predictions as many as 1,000 cases could be recorded by mid-August (pictured, a clinical waste removal personnel at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner, Melbourne)

A Melbourne local walks past Australian Defence Force personnel as the city continues to trudge through stage three lockdown

A Melbourne local walks past Australian Defence Force personnel as the city continues to trudge through stage three lockdown

Australian Defence Force personnel and public health officials visited more than 500 homes of positive cases on Thursday, but one in four were not there.

Mr Andrews said there was no excuse for people who have tested positive not to isolate.

Opposition leader Michael O’Brien said there should be harsher punishments for breaching isolation rules such as monitoring bracelets and higher fines.  

Muslims marking the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha over coming days have been encouraged to socially distance and wear masks.

‘I just want to encourage everyone to make positive decisions when it comes to how they choose to celebrate their faith over this important time for that community,’ Prime Minister Scott Morrison told 2GB radio.

COVID-19 cases in Victoria

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced 397 new coronavirus cases had been recorded on Saturday. 

The state continues to struggle to contain the outbreak and has consistently broken national records on both daily new COVID-19 cases and deaths.

August 1:  397 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths

July 31: 627 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths

July 30:  723 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths

July 29: 295 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths

July 28: 384 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths 

July 27: 532 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths

July 26: 459 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths 

July 25: 357 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths 

July 24: 300 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths 

July 23: 403 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths 

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