• Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (AAP)Source: AAP
Victoria's Premier Dan Andrews announces an extension to the state's COVID-19 State of Emergency until May 11 and $60 million funding package to support mental health services.
Madeline Hayman-Reber

12 Apr 2020 - 11:34 AM  UPDATED 12 Apr 2020 - 12:27 PM

Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews extended the State of Emergency in the southern state for  until May 11 on Sunday, and announced a $60 million funding package to support mental health services.

The Premier described the measures as "unprecendented" and said the emergency restrictions were designed to deal with the health crisis as effectively as possible.

Mr Andrews said the situation would be assessed again in May but could not give an end date for the restrictions.

Three more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the state overnight, bringing Victoria's total to 1268 cases of the virus.

Three patients are in hospital, and a further 16 are in intensive care. No further deaths have been recorded, with Victoria's total standing at 14. 

Mr Andrews described the figures as "positive albeit fragile numbers".

He said he was "deeply grateful" to every Victorian for observing the restrictions and that the lower number of new confirmed cases overnight was evidence that the measures were working. 

"Very impressed to see that everyone has been heeding the warnings, following the advice, staying home, protecting the health system, and ultimately saving lives," he said.

"Each and every one of us have a stake in this, no family will be untouched by the coronavirus if this gets away from us as it has done in a number of cities right across the world."

Mental health support

The Premier also announced $60 million would go towards supporting mental health services in the state and revealed that a quarter of calls made to the mental health organisation, Lifeline, are now related to COVID-19.

"Many people have come forward to get care and support, who have never done so in the past, so there is significant pressure on all of our mental health services," he said. 

"This package will mean that we have the beds, we have the counselling and support services, we have what's needed to provide care to those who are experiencing mental illness in all its different forms."

The package will be developed in consultation with frontline mental health workers to ensure the best delivery.

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