维多利亚Covid更新: Daniel Andrews insists lockdown is working despite daily cases rising to 57

The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has sought to reassure Melburnians the state’s Covid response is working after 57 new cases of Covid-19, the highest daily figure since last year’s deadly second wave.

As Melbourne marked its 200th day in lockdown since the start of the pandemic, Thursday’s 57 cases was the highest figure since 这 73 infections recorded on 9 九月 去年.

Authorities had already warned there would be a jump from the 24 infections reported on Wednesday because they were awaiting day 13 testing from thousands of close contacts.

That is reflected by the fact 54 的 57 new cases were linked to an existing outbreak, 尽管 44 were already in self-isolation. Of the 57 新案件, 41 were from day 13 tests.

Andrews said he knew 57 seemed like a “big number” but insisted Melbourne’s lockdown was working.

“When the vast majority of those have been in isolation for their infectious period, that’s exactly what we want,“ 他说.

“That is the system working exactly as it should work and it goes to that point we have made a number of times that the numbers, 是的, they are important, but the story that sits behind those numbers is in fact more important than the numbers alone.”

Asked if the numbers were not as “alarming” as they appeared, Andrews agreed.

“It’s not good to get [冠状病毒],“ 他说. “But while when people woke up this morning and saw tweets and other media reporting 57 cases they might have thought, that’s a bad day. The key point is the vast, vast majority of those people were in isolation for 100% of their infectious period.”

Jeroen Weimar, the state’s Covid-19 commander, said another large batch of day 13 tests was undertaken on Thursday, meaning he would expect “there to be a number of cases again tomorrow”.

Asked by reporters to reflect on the city’s 200th day of hard lockdown, a grim feat only bested by three other cities around the world, Andrews warned against comparisons.

“Have a look at the death rates in those cities,“ 他说. “Have a look at how many funerals they’ve had in those cities and states. We’ve had our fair share. We’ve had too many and that’s heartbreaking.

“We’ve made tough decisions … It’s not about being popular. It’s about getting this job done. Victorians can do this again, I know they can, as hard as it is.”

He was also asked to defend the decision to close playgrounds, a move that has caused consternation among some parents and sparked criticism from the opposition.

He warned there were 关于 50 children who had contracted Covid.

“This is kids that have got this virus, so any sense that children don’t get it or any sense that children don’t get it and don’t spread it is just wrong,“ 他说.

The government has faced questions about the evidence for the move. The chief health officer, Brett Sutton, has said authorities are investigating potential child-to-child transmission at a playground.

Aside from the western suburbs cluster linked to the Al-Taqwa College in Truganina, which spawned the majority of Thursday’s day 13 test cases, authorities are also seeking to contain an outbreak in St Kilda, and a second outbreak in nearby St Kilda East that is linked to a well-publicised engagement party held at Caulfield North last week.

Weimar said three new cases were linked to the engagement party and one new case was connected to the St Kilda cluster, taking the latter outbreak to 18 案例.

“Some of those are still unconnected and we’re continuing to do a lot of work in that area,” he said of the second outbreak.

Although there are concerns the St Kilda cluster may have spread into the homeless community, Weimar said no further cases were recorded among the homeless on Thursday.

There were also three mystery infections reported, at Glenroy, Ascot Vale and Doncaster.

Weimar called on locals in Doncaster to get tested because there were “no obvious links” to the case.

The Victorian chief commissioner, Shane Patton, also confirmed four people had been fined over last week’s engagement party.

Two of those have been to the parents of the bride-to-be and two of those have been to the engaged couple as well,“ 他说.

He said investigations into the party of about 70 people were still ongoing, but emphasised that all parties had been cooperative. Patton has already foreshadowed further fines.

Andrews said the government would open new drive-through vaccination centres at the Ford factory in Broadmeadows, Springvale’s Sandown Racecourse and Eagle Stadium in Werribee.

The premier said there were still 26,000 vaccine appointments open across the state’s vaccination hubs.

“Go and book one now,“ 他说.

Victoria is aiming to vaccinate 1 million people in the next five weeks.

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