Victoria records 303 new coronavirus cases and four deaths



Victoria has recorded 303 new coronavirus cases and four deaths, the state’s health department has announced.

Today’s figures are significantly lower than yesterday, when Victoria recorded 372 new cases and 14 deaths, including a man in his 20s — Australia’s youngest person to die with the disease.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Friday that he was confident the state had passed the peak of the second wave.

“The five-day trend, the seven-day trend, indicates the peak was probably four or five days ago and we’ll continue to see lower numbers overall as the trend from here on in,” he said.

But Professor Sutton warned it was not conceivable for the state to open up while still recording hundreds of cases per day.

“We have to get to a point where it’s entirely manageable, if not completely snuffed out,” he said.

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Over the past week, the daily total of new infections in the state has fluctuated between 278 and 410.

At its peak in early August, the state recorded 725 cases in one day.

Professor Sutton said masks — which became mandatory in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in late July — have made a difference to community transmission, which accounts for around 20 per cent of all infections in Melbourne and 13 per cent in regional areas.

More details about today’s new cases will be provided when Premier Daniel Andrews holds a press conference at 11:00am.

Meanwhile, Victoria Police has issued 223 fines in the past 24 hours to people breaching the coronavirus restrictions.

It includes 27 people who failed to wear a mask or face covering when leaving home and 87 fines issued to people breaching curfew, which applies from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night in metropolitan Melbourne.

More to come



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Victoria records four deaths, 303 new cases on Saturday after 110 COVID-19 deaths this week, New South Wales seeks lower cases, Australian death toll at 375


The minister also advised against gatherings of more than 10 people and specifically warned young people not to gather outside to drink alcohol, a popular practice called “botellones”.

“We cannot afford not to be disciplined,” Illa said. “We cannot ignore the virus circulating among us.”

The health ministry said the closure extended to nightlife establishments including discotheques, cocktail bars and dance halls in all Spanish territory, which would include popular holiday islands and beach resorts which depend on tourism.

Infections in Spain have risen in recent days following the end of Spain’s tough lockdown seven weeks ago.

Friday’s almost 3000 new cases, although little changed from Thursday, were about double the average in the first 12 days of August and brought the cumulative total to 342,813 – the highest number in Western Europe.

Reuters

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Weekly Coronavirus Cases, Deaths, Hospitalizations Drop



New coronavirus cases, deaths, and hospitalizations reported over the last seven days are trending downward compared to the previous week, reflecting “improving” conditions on the ground, the COVID Tracking Project conceded on Thursday, echoing data maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

The tracking project, a component of the Atlantic magazine, stressed that new weekly testing figures also dropped.

However, it noted, “This is the second week in a row that hospitalizations seem to have dropped, which suggests that infections may be declining independently of testing reductions.”

“The falls in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths should be good news, and in reality, they likely do reflect an improving reality on the ground,” the COVID Tracking Project acknowledged in its weekly assessment.

This week’s drop was more pronounced in the number of new hospitalizations (8.4 percent), followed by the decline in weekly cases (seven percent), tests (five percent), and deaths (1.2 percent).

Due to day-to-day abnormalities in the daily reporting of the data, analysts present rates as seven-day rolling averages.

According to a Breitbart News analysis of tracking project data, the average growth in daily new deaths has plateaued at around 1,000 after a second spike that began in July and remained below peak levels. The May 7 peak (2,740) is more than double Thursday’s average count (1,065) of daily new fatalities.

For the most part, average daily infections have steadily declined in recent weeks after peaking in July. The peak is part of a second spike in new daily cases that began in June. The U.S. has averaged about 55,000 cases each day over the last week. That figure is about 20 percent lower than the peak on July 23 (67,000), data from the project showed.

On Thursday, new daily fatalities were trending down in slightly more than half of the country, compared to the previous seven days, data from the project showed. Several of the other states reported small or no increases at all.

As of Thursday, the average count of new daily cases had dropped in half of the country, with most of the other states only reporting small increases, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Hospitalizations, which stood at nearly 47,000 on Thursday, have also been dropping since late July, data from the project revealed.

On Thursday, the U.S. recorded 51,705 new cases and 1,163 deaths, it added.

The new cases marked a decrease of over 30 percent from a peak of over 77,000 on July 17. Meanwhile, deaths on Thursday were nearly 60 percent lower than the highest single-day count of 2,740 on May 7.

Weekly new cases were trending downward (26) or remained relatively flat (12) in 38 states, Johns Hopkins reported Thursday. New infections were going up in the rest of the country, including the nation’s capital.

The rate of new daily tests per 1,000 residents dropped in 20 states over the seven-day period that ended Thursday, the universtiy noted.

In the rest of the country, including the nation’s capital, the rate was going up (17) or remained relatively unchanged (14), it added.

The U.S. recorded over 365,000 new infections over the last week, marking a 20 percent decrease from the weekly peak of over 468,000 in July (12-18), the university revealed.

Over the past week, America recorded slightly over 7,000 new deaths, less than half of the highest single-week number of fatalities (15,534) reported in April (12-18).

The number of new cases (1.8 million) and fatalities (30,065) reported over the past month is also down compared to peak levels of infections in July (1.9 million) and deaths in April (60, 124).

America has averaged a daily test positivity rate of around 7.5 percent in the last seven days, tracking project data showed:

About six percent of tests came out positive on Thursday. However, it is too early to say whether it will continue to drop.

Despite the drop in the weekly testing tally, new tests increased by more than 200,000 on Thursday from the previous day to over 880,000, the tracking project noted. The U.S. averaged over 740,000 tests each day over the last week.

According to Worldometer, the United States has done more testing than any other advanced nation. Moreover, the U.S. reportedly leads the world in recoveries.

There is a patchwork of guidelines for reporting deaths and cases across the United States, with some states reporting probable fatalities and infections, resulting in different counts.

Johns Hopkins’ cumulative number of cases and deaths for the United States is higher than the count by the tracking project. The university relies on the COVID Tracking Project for some of its data.

As of Friday afternoon, COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) had infected about 5.3 million and killed 168,000, Johns Hopkins reported.





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Brendan Murphy grilled over aged care deaths in COVID-19 parliamentary hearing


Australia’s chief health bureaucrat Brendan Murphy has clashed with MPs in a fiery parliamentary hearing over the 200 deaths in aged care as MPs demanded to know “who is responsible”.

The former chief medical officer who has led the fight against COVID-19 in Australia used the hearings to slam as “ludicrous” claims that Australia’s death rate in aged care was among the worst in the world.

Labor Senator Kristina Keneally pressed the bureaucrat on whether he accepted on the evidence to the aged care royal commission that none of the 200 deaths in aged care were unforeseeable.

“Who is responsible for this catastrophic failure in aged care, for these 200 deaths?’’ she asked.

“Are you trying to tell us it’s just community transmission? There’s not anything that could have been done better?

Professor Murphy was attending the parliamentary hearings on Friday in his new role as the health department secretary after he spent the day in the chair at the royal commission into aged care on Wednesday.

At those hearings, he was involved in a bizarre incident where he tried to whisper an answer to a colleague while putting his hand over his mouth but his prompting was picked up on the microphone and broadcast across Australia.

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage

In damning submissions to the aged care royal commission, Peter Rozen QC, senior counsel assisting the royal commission, warned this week the system has failed the elderly and their families.

“Tragically not all that could be done was done,” the QC said.

“The sector was not properly prepared in March before the Dorothy Henderson Lodge and Newmarch House outbreaks. The lessons of those two outbreaks were not properly conveyed to the sector and as a result the sector was not properly prepared in June 2020 when we witnessed high levels of community transmission of the virus in Melbourne and based on the evidence that you’ve heard, the sector is not properly prepared now.”

Senator Keneally observed there appeared to be lots of talk about learning but some “very slow learning going on”.

“Do you have an apology for those families,” Senator Keneally asked Prof Murphy.

“I am surprised you haven’t come in here with more humility and sympathy for those 200 families.”

Prof Murphy said the Labor Senator was “completely incorrect”.

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“Everyday we look at death statistics and we are deeply shocked and deeply concerned,” he said.

“Tragically, when there is widespread community transmission deaths in aged care will occur.

Asked again if things could have been done better, an exasperated Prof Murphy then sighed and insisted that “of course things could be done better”.

“That’s why we’ve set up the Victorian aged care response centre,” he said.

“Of course, we learn all the time. This virus is creating rules as it goes. We are not in any way saying we have done everything that could have been done. We have been focused on protecting aged care residents since late January.”

At this point, Senator Keneally interjected to say that was not evidence to the aged care royal commission as she noted it had heard the aged care sector was still not prepared.

“Respectfully, I would disagree with counsel assisting,’’ Prof Murphy said.

Senator Keneally then interjected again asking, “Is that all you’ve got to say?”

“We can always do more but I reject the assumption that preparation was not very fulsome,” Prof Murphy said.

“I don’t think you know what fulsome means,’’ Senator Keneally responded.

“It doesn’t mean comprehensive. I suggest you look it up.”

Prof Murphy then thanked Senator Keneally and said he was happy to take a grammar lesson from her.

Liberal Senator James Patterson then interjected add sarcastically, “Yeah, perhaps spend more time with a dictionary that’s a great use of your scarce time.”



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Victoria’s coronavirus rollercoaster continues as state records 372 cases and 14 deaths



Victoria has recorded 372 new coronavirus cases and 14 deaths overnight.

The figures come one day after Victoria recorded its lowest single-day increase in cases in more than three weeks, with 278 infections reported yesterday.

Yesterday’s death toll of eight was the first time in a week the daily number of deaths dropped below 10.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to provide more details at a press conference later today.

Yesterday, Deputy Chief Officer Allen Cheng said health authorities were watching trends over time.

“A swallow doesn’t make a summer,” he said of yesterday’s drop in daily case numbers.

“[On Wednesday] we had a case number with 4 in front of it and [on Thursday] we have [one] with 2 in front of it. We need to keep a close eye on it over time.”

Health authorities have said they expect to see the impact of stage 4 restrictions on case numbers in coming days.

The first measures under stage 4 restrictions were imposed on Melbourne on August 2, and the final changes for businesses came into effect on Monday.

All of regional Victoria went back under stage 3 restrictions last Thursday.

Mr Andrews yesterday described the push to drive infection numbers down as a “real marathon”.

More to come.



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Victoria records 278 new coronavirus cases and eight deaths


Victoria records 278 new coronavirus cases and eight deaths in sign the deadly Melbourne outbreak is finally getting under control

  • Victoria has recorded 278 new coronavirus infections and eight deaths
  • The state suffered its deadliest day on Wednesday, with 21 deaths and 410 cases
  • The deaths bring the state’s death toll to 275 and the national figure to 360 
  • Premier Daniel Andrews is confident Victoria’s COVID-19 curve is flattening 

Another eight Victorians have died from coronavirus, while 278 new cases have been recorded.

It’s the lowest number of new cases since July 20, when the state recorded 275 cases.

Thursday’s fatalities bring the state’s death toll to 275 and the national figure to 360. 

A record 725 new daily infections were recorded on August 5. 

Victoria has recorded 278 new coronavirus infections and eight deaths, a significant drop in the 410 recorded yesterday

Thursday's fatalities bring the state's toll to 275 and the national figure to 360. A record 725 new daily infections were recorded on August 5.

Thursday’s fatalities bring the state’s toll to 275 and the national figure to 360. A record 725 new daily infections were recorded on August 5.

Premier Daniel Andrews is confident Victoria’s COVID-19 curve is flattening. 

He said it was dependent upon ‘literally hundreds of millions of individual choices and decisions’.

The virus-hit state is starting to bear the fruits of the week-long stage four restrictions shutting all non-essential businesses in Melbourne. 

While noting Victoria’s seven-day case average was falling, Mr Andrews acknowledged the lockdown’s full effects would not be known until next week.

‘We all know that a week is not the life-cycle of this virus,’ he told reporters on Wednesday.

‘This is not precise. It’s not exact because it’s all dependent upon literally hundreds of millions of individual choices and decisions that each of us make every single day.’

Professor Catherine Bennett, Chair of Epidemiology at Deakin University, also believes the state is ‘past its peak now’. 

‘So hopefully this pipeline, if you like, of people being exposed then becoming ill and possibly also triggering workplace outbreaks is now shifting so that we are starting to close down those existing outbreaks,’ Professor Bennett told the Today Show. 

Professor Bennett also acknowledged that active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria dropped on Wednesday for the first time.

The virus-hit state is starting to bear the fruits of the week-long stage four restrictions shutting all non-essential businesses in Melbourne

The virus-hit state is starting to bear the fruits of the week-long stage four restrictions shutting all non-essential businesses in Melbourne

Premier Daniel Andrews is confident Victoria's COVID-19 curve is flattening

Premier Daniel Andrews is confident Victoria’s COVID-19 curve is flattening

‘So hopefully this pipeline, if you like, of people being exposed then becoming ill and possibly also triggering workplace outbreaks is now shifting so that we are starting to close down those existing outbreaks,’ she said.

‘We should see the numbers really drop quite rapidly once these outbreaks are contained and we stop, you know, having more people coming into [contact], whether it’s working in hospital or aged care in particular.’

Professor Bennett said it’s likely the draconian stage four restrictions will be lifted by December. 

‘If we see the numbers come down hard over the next couple of weeks, all being well, the restrictions will be much more mild by Christmas,’ she said. 

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Victoria records another 21 deaths and 410 new coronavirus cases on deadliest day of pandemic so far

A further 21 persons have died and 410 Victorians have contracted coronavirus.

The record selection of deaths, tweeted by the Section of Wellbeing and Human Expert services on Wednesday, will take the condition toll to 267 and the nationwide toll to 352.

More info on those people who succumbed to the virus will be presented afterwards on Wednesday.

Victorian authorities had warned deaths would keep on to rise presented the selection of individuals in hospital with the virus.

As of Tuesday, 650 persons ended up in hospital and 43 of those in intense treatment.

A lot more than 150 of Victoria’s over-all deaths have been from aged care residences.

Main Wellness Officer Brett Sutton explained to a parliamentary inquiry 20 deaths a day was “somewhat modest” in contrast with what was going on in other pieces of the entire world.

Wednesday’s file variety of deaths comes amid a war of terms concerning the condition and federal governments over Victoria’s botched resort quarantine scheme.

Premier Daniel Andrews reported the Australian Defence Drive experienced not been on offer you to guard the resorts when the plan commenced.

But Defence Minister Linda Reynolds reported ADF guidance had been made available to Victoria on several instances.

Careers Minister Martin Pakula, whose section co-ordinated the resort quarantine plan, is because of to confront the inquiry on Wednesday.

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are matter to Stage 4 restrictions and should comply with a curfew involving the hrs of 8pm and 5am.

Throughout the curfew, people today in Melbourne can only leave their house for function, and important overall health, treatment or security causes. In between 5am and 8pm, folks in Melbourne can go away the property for exercising, to store for important goods and products and services, for operate, for wellbeing treatment, or to treatment for a sick or elderly relative.

All Victorians have to have on a face covering when they go away household, no make a difference where by they live.

Folks in Australia ought to keep at minimum 1.5 metres absent from some others. Check out your state’s constraints on gathering limits. 

If you are suffering from chilly or flu symptoms, remain household and organize a check by calling your medical professional or call the Coronavirus Wellness Details Hotline on 1800 020 080. 

Information and data is accessible in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.



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