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Victoria reports 238 new coronavirus cases and one death as NSW Crossroads cluster worsens – The Guardian

Victorian police fine Pokémon Go players, a KFC patron and find people hiding in cupboards and garages



Victoria has recorded 238 new cases of Covid-19 and the death of a woman in her 90s and New South Wales has recorded 13 new cases, including 10 linked to the Crossroads hotel cluster in south-west Sydney which has now affected 34 people.
Victorias deputy police commissioner, Rick Nugent, has outlined disappointing breaches of Covid-19 lockdown measures including people refusing to leave KFC restaurants, playing Pokémon Go and poker in groups, and hiding in garages and closets when caught by police on Wednesday.
There are now 105 Victorians in hospital, an increase by 20 from Tuesday, and 27 people are in intensive care. Of the new cases recorded, 209 are still under investigation. The cases have prompted questions about whether tougher restrictions may be needed in Victoria, as Nugent said some people continued to flout lockdown rules.
Clearly KFC is popular during the lockdown, Nugent said. A person ordered KFC and refused to leave the restaurant where they sat to eat. Police attended and the person still refused to leave.
He added there had been a short-term rental property hired to host a party at Docklands in Melbournes city. He said 10 people were fined, but police were later called back to the property where a further 24 fines were issued. Police have issued 546 fines since lockdown began last Wednesday, with playing Pokémon Go and poker among excuses given by people for gathering, Nugent said.
Were finding people in cupboards. Were finding people in garages. Please stop, Nugent said.
The premier, Daniel Andrews, praised the majority of Victorians for acting appropriately but said a small minority could jeopardise public health efforts significantly.
Anyone whos not doing the right thing, Victorian police are out in force, he said. Victorian police are out there with a very clear agenda to make sure these restrictions work. The time for cutting people slack is over.
Victorias chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, said it was still too early to talk about further restrictions, but that they would be considered if case numbers did not improve and people flouted the rules. But he said he believed the current six-week lockdown period was an appropriate period for current restrictions in effect for metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.
I honestly dont know how likely it is to step up

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