Victoria has recorded no new coronavirus cases since yesterday, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos says.
Key points:Victoria has recorded at least one new coronavirus infection every day since the pandemic beganMs Mikakos says the risk is not yet over and it is up to Victorians to keep each other safeThe organisers of a Black Lives Matter protest planned for Melbourne have told people to wear masks and stay physically distant
It marks the first day of no new infections in the state since the global pandemic was declared.
“We’ve been able to achieve this through Victorians doing an incredible job keeping themselves and each other safe,” Ms Mikakos said.
“The public health advice is that the risk is not over yet so it’s up to all of us to keep it up.”
At least one person in Victoria had been diagnosed with COVID-19 every day since the World Health Organization declared the pandemic on March 12.
Two days in April were counted as having a net increase of 0 — but this was due to old cases being counted in other state’s tallies on days when new infections were recorded.
Victoria’s total number of recorded COVID-19 cases remains at 1,681. Of those, 1,586 were declared as recovered on Friday.
Victoria dramatically stepped up its testing in late April.(ABC News: Nicole Asher)
Victoria has consistently had the second-highest number of coronavirus infections in Australia, behind only New South Wales.
Health officials remain concerned about community transmission, with Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton yesterday warning of possible “hot spots” in Melbourne’s inner-north and west.
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A cluster at an abattoir in Melbourne’s west was responsible for 111 of the state’s recent cases, while smaller outbreaks at a McDonald’s restaurant and several aged care facilities have sent hundreds more people into isolation.
The state began what the Government dubbed a “testing blitz” in late April, giving Victoria the highest rate of testing in the country.
Health officials concerned about Black Lives Matter protestsSpace to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.WatchDuration: 1 minute 3 seconds1m 3s Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton urges people not to attend protests at Friday’s press conference.
The organisers of a protest planned for Melbourne today are pushing ahead, despite police yesterday warning organisers could be fined if coronavirus restrictions are breached.
A 20-person limit on outdoor gatherings still applies in Victoria, and Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton yesterday said organisers could be fined if the event breaks the Chief Health Officer’s directives.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Professor Sutton are among those calling for people to call off the protests due to concerns of a spike in coronavirus cases.
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Mr Andrews earlier this week said police had made the “tough decision” to allow the protest to go ahead to not “inflame” the situation.
Yesterday, a Victoria Police spokesperson said “those who intentionally break the law will be held to account”, saying “there are obvious and potentially dire public health consequences should this event lead to an outbreak of coronavirus”.
At a press conference yesterday, representatives of the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) told people who were thinking of attending to follow health guidelines, wear masks and keep 1.5 metres apart.
The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) has been handing out hand sanitiser, gloves and masks ahead of the protest.
“I understand why people are still going to the protests,” VACCHO chief executive Jill Gallagher told ABC News Breakfast on Saturday morning.
“When you look at the history of this country, when you look at the 432 deaths in custody since the 1990s and that’s only the ones that have been counted.”
WAR representatives released a list of 14 demands for the protest, including the dismantling of the policing and justice system and the implementation of all 339 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
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