Victoria has recorded one new Covid case as the state’s premier prepares to return to work at the end of the month after recoverying from a serious injury.
Victorian health authorities said on Sunday the new case is a primary close contact of another positive coronavirus case and had been self-isolating while infectious.
More than 17,000 people were tested on Saturday after Victoria’s Covid-19 testing commander, Jeroen Weimar, encouraged people to “call out” friends and colleagues if they are showing symptoms of Covid-19 but have not been for a test.
It comes after Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced he would return to work on 28 June, saying his “vertebra has almost fully healed and my ribs are well on track”.
Andrews revealed his plans in a Saturday night Facebook post, saying he had been given the all-clear by doctors to return to work, more than three months after he fell and fractured his spine and ribs.
“The good news is that the vertebra in my back is almost fully healed,” he said in a video recording. “The brace has come off, that’s the brace I’ve worn 18 hours a day for the last three months.”
“But the ribs are not fully healed. They’ll take a while and the doctors tell me these next few weeks will be quite a painful adjustment.”
The premier said he was “raring to go” and would return to work in two weeks’ time.
“Once I’m fully fit and healthy, I’ll be back,” he said.
Andrews fell down stairs at a rental home on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula on 9 March, an accident that almost caused permanent spinal cord damage.
The premier has been expected for some time to resume his role in June.
Andrews used the Facebook post to thank his wife, Cath, his children, and the “doctors, nurses, ambos and physios who’ve taken care of me”.
He also praised acting premier, James Merlino, who has led Victoria through its fourth wave.
He said he was “grateful to James Merlino for stepping in to lead the government”, saying he had “done an amazing job” at a difficult time.
“While I’ve been recovering the state has been in great hands. I am so grateful to James Merlino for stepping in to lead the government and the state – he’s done an amazing job.”
The state opposition has attracted widespread criticism for inflaming bizarre conspiracy theories about his fall.
The shadow treasurer, Louise Staley, this week demanded he answer 12 questions about his fall, prompting Ambulance Victoria to release a statement detailing its response to the incident, and the police commissioner to say there was no police involvement.
More to come.