Victoria’s Covid outbreak skyrockets with a record 2297 cases and 11 deaths – as state remains on track to come out of lockdown early thanks to jab numbers
- Thursday’s numbers are highest daily total recorded in Australia amid pandemic
- Despite surge in cases, Victoria is on track to come out of lockdown early
- Victoria is on track to hit 70 per cent vaccination target ahead of October 26
Victoria’s Covid outbreak has skyrocketed with 2,297 new cases recorded on Thursday and 11 deaths.
The numbers are the highest ever daily total recorded in Australia since the pandemic first began.
Victoria’s previous daily case high was on Saturday when the state suffered 1,965 local infections.
Despite the huge surge in cases, the state is on track to reach its 70 per cent double vaccination target ahead of the indicative date of October 26 – meaning the end of Melbourne’s sixth gruelling lockdown may come early.
Victoria’s Covid outbreak has skyrocketed with 2,297 new cases recorded on Thursday and 11 deaths
Despite the surge in cases Melbourne’s sixth lockdown could end early
Covid Live analyst Anthony Macali said Victoria could achieve a 70 per cent double dose rate as soon as October 22.
He said Victoria would likely then hit the 80 per cent double dose milestone three days earlier than the official timeline on November 2.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed a decision could be announced as early as this weekend based on firmer vaccination projections as well as intensive care and hospital case numbers.
Under the state’s Covid-19 roadmap, home visits were set to be banned until 80 per cent of its 16-plus population received both vaccine doses.
But Professor Sutton said he was open to tweaking home gathering restrictions at the 70 per cent mark.
‘We’ve always said, if we can do more, we will do more,’ he told ABC Radio on Wednesday afternoon.
‘We’re acutely aware of home gatherings leading to spikes and that was definitely a feature of (the AFL) grand final. They were people that didn’t normally come together.
‘It’s different for families. If we can limit numbers, if we think the epidemiology looks okay, (I’m) absolutely open to that as well.’
Prof Sutton noted the Doherty Institute modelling forecasts hundreds more deaths in coming months as restrictions ease across the state.
Thursday’s numbers came from 82,762 tests while 37,611 Victorians turned out to get vaccinated on Wednesday
Healthcare workers are seen at a vaccination centre in Melbourne this week
‘The reality is our seasonal flu, year-on-year, causes an estimated 3000 excess deaths in Australia,’ he said.
‘That’s what we live with every year with flu. So we need to minimise to the fullest extent possible the deaths that we can.’
Thursday’s numbers came from 82,762 tests while 37,611 Victorians turned out to get vaccinated on Wednesday.
There are currently 20,505 active cases in Victoria.
At least 61.5 per cent of the Victorian population have had both jabs while 86.7 per cent have had one dose.
Health Minister Martin Foley has meanwhile announced pop up vaccination hubs would be operating around Melbourne at local cafes, gyms and shopping malls in bids to get residents jabbed.
The sites will aim to vaccinate dozens of residents within a few hours with one already set up at Degani’s Mernda Junction cafe.
‘These neighbourhood pop-up models are designed to support Victorians to get access to vaccines, Pfizer in particular, in the most convenient, familiar and easy to deal with locations,’ Mr Foley said.
Mitchell Shire on the regional northern fringe of Melbourne has meanwhile emerged from its local lockdown at midnight on Wednesday.
The reasons to leave home and the 15km travel radius has been scrapped for the region.
At least 61.5 per cent of the Victorian population have had both jabs while 86.7 per cent have had one dose