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Victoria coronavirus numbers, lockdown could last longer than six weeks –

Victoria’s COVID-19 cases climb again, Premier hints at extending lockdown



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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has hinted that current restrictions could be extended beyond the six-week period initially set out by his government.Victoria recorded 177 new cases on Monday. Of those, 151 are from an unknown source.
There are cases linked to existing clusters at Al-Taqwa College and Sommerville Meats and a “concerning” new number of cases at Menarock Life Aged Care at Essendon.
The aged care facility has 26 cases split between staff and clients. That number represents Victoria’s largest cluster at an aged care centre.
The Premier thanked Victorians settling in for their second stint in Stage 3 lockdown but warned it could take longer than six weeks for the restrictions to be lifted.
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“It’s just a matter of everybody following those rules, and understanding that no family will be spared if the strategy doesn’t work,” Mr Andrews told reporters.
“I’ll be standing at the podium having to report more and more people have passed away. I’ll have to extend all sorts of rules. We’ll have businesses closed for longer. We’ll have people in their homes locked down for longer than would otherwise be the case. This is in our hands.
He called the virus “a very, very complex, cunning, clever enemy” and urged Victorians to take it seriously.
“That’s what being on the front-line is all about, everyone making a contribution for you, for your family, for your community, for every family and the entire state,” Mr Andrews said.
“If we all keep following those rules, then this strategy will work, we’ll bring it under control, we’ll be able to resume opening up, we’ll get past this very difficult set of circumstances we face.
“To the vast majority of people doing the right thing, I say thank you, thank you so very much. To those who aren’t, Victoria Police, as I said yesterday, I’ll keep on saying it, Victoria Police, the last time, they issued many more warnings than fines. They’re not mucking about. The time for warnings is over.
“If you’re out there, just breaking the rules, and you’re betting you won’t get caught, the odds are not good. You will get caught. And you will be fined. So please, it doesn’t have to come to that.
“We need to stop it getting to the point where we have thousands of people in hospital and hundreds and hundreds of people needing a machine to breathe.
“We all have a part to play to make sure we’re just relying on our doctors and nurses, we need to acknowledge this is a clever enemy, so many people have this and have very moderate symptoms, it’s so wildly infectious, we’ve all got to play our part.
“That’s how we’ll get to the other side of this, that’s how we’ll defeat the virus. The alternative is the numbers continue to grow and, well, that is not a situation we want to be in at any point. This lockdown will continue for so long as it needs to. But it need not be there for a moment longer than absolutely necessary if everyone simply follows the rules and does the right thing.
“If you don’t want a stage 4, if you don’t want the lockdown to last a moment longer, then please follow the rules. Do the right thing by your family, your community, and every family.”
Stage 4 is activated when it is determined likely that COVID-19 is not contained.
Parts of Victoria re-entered Stage 3 lockdown last week, meaning those in metropolitan Melbourne cannot leave their home except for four reasons — food, exercise, health care, work.
School students in Years Prep-10 will return to flexible learning from home where possible.

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