Victorians must understand that COVID-19 case numbers will fluctuate and the battle is far from won.
That was the Victorian government’s latest message to the public following a rise in COVID-19 cases by 17 on April 18, after recording just a single new case the previous day.
“I have made it very clear that I have not declared this mission accomplished and it’s really important that all of us remain vigilant,” Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said on Saturday.
Victoria’s total number of confirmed cases rose to 1319.
Seven of the latest 17 cases are Greg Mortimer cruise ship passengers flown in recently on a flight from Uruguay.
Since the state broadened the COVID-19 testing criteria, testing rates have risen, with thousands more being assessed in the last day or two.
Mikakos sought to set public expectations about what level of normality to expect in coming months.
The state of emergency in Victoria is due to expire May 11 and authorities will set about removing social distancing restrictions in a “very thoughtful and careful way”, she said.
Mass gatherings including sporting events and concerts may not happen until next year.
She dismissed questions about a lack of Victorian political bipartisanship about social distancing restrictions, which referred to one disgruntled Liberal MP complaining about a ban on golf.
Anyone with symptoms of a new fever, chills or breathing problems – specifically a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath – can now be tested for COVID-19.
By Andi Yu