OUTBREAK SOARS: Huge number of new cases in Victoria

 

Victoria has recorded 33 new coronavirus cases - marking the state's ninth consecutive day of double digit increases - and another death. 

Seven of those are in hotel quarantine, nine are from known outbreaks, six are from routine testing and 11 are still under investigation.

Premier Dan Andrews said numbers will continue to increase in the coming days as authorities test "entire suburbs" - listing ten suburbs that will be "blitzed"

"We will see these numbers go up in coming days," he said. "That will be a measure of the work that we're doing, a measure of the success of this strategy.

Those suburbs are Keilor Downs, Broadmeadows, Maidstone, Sunshine West, Albanvale, Hallam, Brunswick West, Reservoir, Pakenham, Fawkner.

More than 1000 ADF troops are being sent to Victoria to help with hotel quarantine and provide logistical support for testing.

 

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.

 

A  family at the heart of one of Melbourne's largest clusters held an Eid celebration that broke public health restrictions.

The so-called Coburg cluster has now swelled to 14 people, while another family cluster in the north-western suburb of Keilor Downs has led to 15 infections.

It comes after warnings that events such as large family gatherings, where social distance measures haven't been observed, could become "super-spreading" events.

Earlier this week Premier Daniel Andrews said large family gatherings are "not acceptable", as he threatened to impose a new lockdown.

"It doesn't matter how many people are doing the wrong thing: everybody - everybody - will pay the price if we get to a point where restrictions either localised or across the state need to be reintroduced,'' Mr Andrews said.

"We have seen, as we said on Saturday, many families, large families, who have gathered in numbers beyond the rules.

"That is just not on. It is not acceptable."

 

Today, The Australian is reporting the Coburg cluster was sparked by a gathering in the Melbourne to celebrate Eid, a Muslim religious celebration to mark the end of Ramadan.

The party was held on the weekend of May 23 to May 24, when Victorians were only allowed to have indoor gatherings of up to five people.

The gathering has resulted in more than 14 cases across multiple households.

A Health Department spokesman told the newspaper that the "contact-tracing process relating to the ­Coburg family cluster is ongoing".

Victoria's other growing clusters have been linked to hotels.

At least 14 cases have been traced back to security contractors at the Stamford Plaza quarantine hotel in Melbourne's CBD, while 17 have been linked to an earlier cluster at Rydges on Swanston.

 

Meanwhile, it's been confirmed that  thousand Australian Defence Force personnel will be deployed in Melbourne from tomorrow as the city grapples with sustained coronavirus case increases.

It's understood that 850 of those will be involved with hotel quarantine, as over 30 cases linked to system have sparked concerns over physical distancing.

That means they will be making sure returned international travellers are doing the right thing and staying where they're supposed to be.

Another 200 ADF members will be involved in logistical and medical support.

"We received a request last night from the Victorian government for additional ADF assistance," Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds told the Today show.

"We have got a planning team already in place in Victoria, and we are looking to deploy over 1000 ADF personnel on the job from tomorrow."

With the majority of members headed to hotels, it is clear the Victorian government has concerns about rules being followed in the hotel quarantine system.

There are now more than 30 cases linked to hotels in the state, including among staff, close contacts with staff and community transmission, Victoria's Chief Medical Officer Dr Brett Sutton said.

 

 

 

Originally published as Family party sparks Melbourne cluster


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