There were 671 new cases recorded in a single day in Victoria, and there were seven more deaths caused by COVID-19 on the very same day. This is the highest daily total recorded since the pandemic began. As community transmissions increase, more pockets of the state are under lockdown, and face masks have been made mandatory. Starting on Thursday 9 July, residents who live in locked-down areas of Victoria – including all of metropolitan Melbourne have to stay at home until 19 August. They can step out for important work, buying essential goods, and routine health checks – anyone who does not wear a mask while outdoors will have to pay a $200 fine.
The numbers are rising
The number of active cases in Victoria is a whopping 6322. Out of them, 385 people are in the hospital, and 38 are in intensive care. The state government released these numbers on Sunday. The people who lost their lives were aged between 80 and 90. Pregnancy made Kaillee Dyke more susceptible to the Coronavirus, and she was battling for her life at the Royal Melbourne Hospital ICU. Her partner too tested positive but did not require intensive care. The hospital staff has arranged for the couple to talk via video calls so that they are at ease. Both of them are clueless as to how they got infected as they did not meet anyone who had the virus.
The total number of tests conducted in Victoria is 1,633,900. Out of most of the positive cases, around 80 per cent were the result of workplace transmission, and the state government has now made wearing masks mandatory for all workers, said Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria. Victoria Police, Worksafe, and Emergency Management Victoria will keep an eye on workspaces to ensure if 1.5m social distancing is being maintained. A North Melbourne public housing block was under hard lockdown, and according to Mr Andrews, 123 of the residents chose to stay in isolation after testing positive. The infected individuals have been requested to move out and stay at hotel quarantine for the time being. The Victorian prison system is not safe from the virus, either. A female teacher at the Malmsbury youth justice centre tested positive, and the prison is currently under lockdown. The staff is worried, and Professor Sutton commented that contact tracing would be required.
Masks are mandatory
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said masks are as essential as house keys keeping in mind the situation. Everyone over the age of twelve must wear a mask, said Professor Sutton. Mr Andrews added that the masks are not required to be hospital-grade and that homemade masks, a scarf or a bandana will be fine. Covering the nose and the mouth is the only way to stay safe, other than maintaining proper hygiene. The government will also be distributing masks to older people and the ones who cannot afford it.
Stage four restrictions have come into effect
According to the chief health officer, the result of the stage three restrictions have not changed the daily case numbers drastically. The review process is still on, and the department is trying to trace the community transmissions. Professor Sutton is hopeful that stage 4 lockdown will help curb community transmission.
Victorians need to abide by the rules to stay safe and flatten the curve.