7 Deaths, 10 New Cases in Victoria

By AAP
September 28, 2020 Updated: September 29, 2020

Victoria has recorded 10 new cases of coronavirus and seven more deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 794 and the national figure to 882.

The new infections, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services on Sept. 29, brings Melbourne’s 14-day average to 18.2.

The average needs to drop below five and there must be fewer than five mystery cases for a fortnight before the state eases further restrictions.

Under step three, the five-kilometre limit will be scrapped, shops will be able to reopen and cafes and restaurants will be able to seat diners.

Originally, the earliest date the metropolitan region could move to step three was Oct. 26.

But authorities will work on a minimum three-week gap between stages, meaning that date has been brought forward to Oct. 19.

The following step on Victoria’s road map out of restrictions requires zero new cases in the community for more than 14 days.

But Premier Daniel Andrews insists suppression, not eradication, remains Victoria’s coronavirus goal.

It comes after his former health minister Jenny Mikakos tweeted: “We are well on the way to eradication.”

“I have answered this question many, many times. That is not the strategy. The strategy is to suppress this virus and that’s the National Cabinet decision,” Andrews told reporters on Sept. 28.

Andrews also revealed he has yet to speak to Mikakos since her resignation on Sept. 26.

She dramatically quit after the premier told the hotel quarantine inquiry that her department was ultimately responsible for the botched quarantine program.

Mikakos blamed Andrews’ statement for her resignation in a scathing letter posted on Twitter.

Closing submissions were heard at the inquiry on Monday ahead of its report, due on Nov. 6.

The inquiry was told that the disastrous quarantine program was responsible for 768 coronavirus deaths and more than 18,000 infections.