Health officials warn that Victoria’s COVID-19 outbreak remains a national issue, with 140 Australians testing positive in the past 24 hours.
Deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd today revealed 127 new cases were reported in Victoria, along with 10 in New South Wales and three in Western Australia from hotel quarantine.
However, only 16 per cent of more than 500 cases reported in the past week were acquired overseas.
“This is a stark difference to over two weeks ago when 50 per cent of new cases in Australia were acquired overseas and diagnosed among people in quarantine,” Prof Kidd said.
“It shows us how quickly the pandemic can change.”
The continued community transmission cases have authorities concerned about the outbreak in Victoria.
“The situation in Melbourne has come as a jolt, not just of the people of Melbourne, but people right across Australia who may have thought that this was all behind us. It is not,” Prof Kidd said.
“The outbreak in Victoria is a national issue.”
He said the length of the border closure was a decision for premiers, adding the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee did not have a position on border closures.
At least 45,000 tests were conducted nationwide yesterday with more than half in Victoria.
Australia’s death toll has also risen to 106. Across the country, 34 people are in hospital with five in intensive care units due to COVID-19.
Prof Kidd said if people found themselves in a situation where they may not be able to maintain physical distancing from other people, they may feel more comfortable wearing a mask.
“If somebody is a vulnerable person living in one of the areas of community transmission and they feel they may be at increased risk of COVID-19, again they may feel more comfortable wearing a mask when they leave their home,” he said.
Originally published as How Melbourne outbreak affects us all