Australia

Victoria records 238 new coronavirus cases as Daniel Andrews warns of more restrictions

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews arrives to a press conference in Melbourne Source: AAP

An elderly woman has died of coronavirus in Victoria, with the state reporting 238 new COVID-19 cases.

Victoria announced one new coronavirus death and 238 fresh cases on Wednesday, the fifth day in a row of more than 200 new infections.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed on Wednesday morning a woman in her 90s had died overnight, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 27.

Of the new cases, Mr Andrews said 29 were related to known outbreaks and 209 were under investigation.

Amid speculation the government is considering a move to a 'Stage 4' lockdown, Mr Andrews warned that if the current rules are not followed "we will have to move to additional restrictions".

There are now 1931 active cases of COVID-19 across the state, with 105 people in hospital. Of those, 27 are in intensive care.

“These hospitalisation numbers are of great concern to us,” Mr Andrews said.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned the current coronavirus wave will lead to more deaths.

"One in 100 - or more - will die," he said.

"When we have 238 cases every day, we are looking at two to three deaths in a week's time, so we have to have these numbers decrease.”

Prof Sutton said mandatory mask-wearing "shouldn't be off the table".

"It's a risk not to have them, especially with the transmission going on in Melbourne," he said.

Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton speaks to media during a press conference in Melbourne, Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton speaks to media during a press conference in Melbourne, Wednesday, July 15, 2020
AAP

Victoria Police have checked thousands of homes, businesses and public places since the state returned to 'Stage 3' lockdown last week and fined 351 people for breaking rules.

More than 150 fines have also been distributed at car checkpoints across Melbourne, with 85,000 vehicles checked, deputy commissioner Rick Nugent said.

"The reasons for leaving your premises are well known, I can say that they don't include playing Pokemon," Mr Nugent said, noting a group was fined for playing the game in their car last week.

Others were fined for hosting social gatherings, a poker night and for eating KFC in-restaurant.

Meanwhile, a COVID-19 cluster from a pub in Sydney's southwest continues to grow, with genomic testing indicating the virus strain emanated from Victoria.

NSW Health on Wednesday confirmed the "patient zero" of the outbreak was a Melbourne man who attended the Crossroads Hotel in Casula on 3 July.

On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd announced the number of infections recorded within Australia since the start of the pandemic had passed 10,000.

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Residents in metropolitan Melbourne are subject to stay-at-home orders and can only leave home for essential work, study, exercise or care responsibilities. People are also advised to wear masks in public.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Additional reporting by AAP.

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