Prime Minister Scott Morrison has launched a savage attack on “amoral and hideous” suggestions elderly Australian should be sacrificed to COVID-19.
The nation recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic on Aug 10 with 19 people in Victoria succumbing to the disease.
Victoria’s one-day total for new cases fell to 322 as the national death toll rose to 313.
Morrison expressed his disgust at suggestions older Australians should have been “offered up” to the virus in order to reduce restrictions.
“That is just a hideous thought,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“An absolutely amoral, hideous thought. One I have had no countenance with from the very first time it was suggested.”
More than 200 people have died from coronavirus in the aged care system, a grim figure Morrison described as a terrible tragedy.
Genomic testing indicates Victoria’s botched hotel quarantine program could have sparked the state’s deadly second outbreak.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg renewed criticism of the Victorian government over significant failures in hotel quarantine, saying the mistakes must be explained.
“It’s very very difficult emotionally, it’s difficult obviously on the economy as well,” he told 2GB radio.
“We know with respect to quarantine there have been very significant failures with deadly consequences. Victorians deserve answers. I’ll leave that to Daniel Andrews and his government to provide.”
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said the past five days of declines were heartening, but urged caution around the figures.
Meanwhile, NSW has reported 14 new cases of the virus, including one with no known source.
Queensland recorded one new case of the virus overnight, a man in hotel quarantine who recently returned from overseas.
Rebecca Gredley, Matt Coughlan in Canberra