Australia

Victoria records 288 new coronavirus cases in the biggest daily spike in Australia since the pandemic began

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media. Source: AAP

Victoria has recorded 288 new coronavirus cases overnight in the biggest ever single-day state total.

Victoria has confirmed a record 288 new coronavirus cases overnight in the biggest single-day increase recorded in Australia since the pandemic began. 

Premier Daniel Andrews provided the alarming update on Friday, flagging that Victoria may still be yet to see the peak of the crisis. 

"It was always going to get worse before it got better," he told reporters.

"The key point here is to acknowledge that these numbers will need to increase, they will need to get to a peak before it is we can stabilise them and drive them down."

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Mr Andrews urged Melburnians to wear masks if they had to venture out into public. 

"It is our request of you, it's not compulsory, we are simply asking that if you can wear a mask where you can't distance, that is exactly what we would like you to do.

"That's a relatively small contribution but one that could make a really big difference."

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there was no room for complacency when trying to contain the Victorian outbreak.

"Certainly, 288 new cases today is a pretty ugly number," he said.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said police had issued more than 60 infringement notices in the past 24 hours, including 16 fines following a "ridiculous" incident at a KFC in Dandenong. 

"We had [ambulance officers] who were at a KFC in Dandenong, and while they were getting something to eat, they saw two people who were ordering 20 meals at 1.30 this morning," he told reporters. 

"We got the registration number of the car and we followed it to an address in Dandenong. When we went in, there were two people asleep but there were 16 others hiding out the back and they just got the KFC meals at a birthday."

Police had also fined four sex workers for breaching stay-at-home orders at a Glen Waverley apartment, Mr Patton said. 

"Police attended and found four people inside the address who did not reside there," police said in a statement.

"Further enquiries revealed the apartment was being used to facilitate sex work in breach of the stay-at-home directions."

Mr Andrews said the Melbourne lockdown could be extended beyond six weeks if people continued to flout directions.

"I would appeal to every single Victorian. The only way for us to bring stability to these numbers is for all of us to stay at home."

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

Residents in Melbourne public housing towers who need access to support and assistance should call the Housing Call Centre on 1800 961 054. If you need a translator, first call 131 450. Both services are 24/7. More information can be found here.

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