Victoria Has Eight Virus Deaths, 14 New Cases

By AAP
September 24, 2020 Updated: September 24, 2020

Victoria has had eight more COVID-19 deaths as Melbourne’s crucial new case average continues to fall.

The deaths take the national toll to 781 and the national figure to 869.

There were 14 new cases, while Melbourne’s 14-day average fell again on Sept 25 to 25.1.

It is only 0.8 in regional Victoria.

Melbourne’s cases with an unknown source are 34 for September 9-22 and there are none in the regional areas.

Under the state government’s roadmap, Melbourne’s new case average needs to be between 30 and 50 for the city for some restrictions to be eased next Monday.

Premier Daniel Andrews will announce those revised rules on Sunday.

But he has tempered expectations, warning Melbourne will not take “massive steps” out of its lingering lockdown.

“Sunday will not be a day of massive steps,” he said on Thursday.

“The roadmap does not speak to that. It is not a day when we essentially throw the doors open.”

Under the metropolitan Melbourne roadmap announced on September 6, proposed changes for Monday include a staged return to school for some students and an allowance for public gatherings of five people from two households.

Andrews said the figures were still “too much” to skip to “step three” a month early.

He expects the state government and health authorities to settle on the new rules on Saturday night before publicly confirming the package.

It came as Andrews stands by beleaguered Health Minister Jenny Mikakos after the Health Workers Union called for her dismissal.

Mikakos appeared before the inquiry into Victoria’s botched hotel quarantine scheme on Thursday, and the premier will be grilled on Friday.

Meanwhile, the state government suffered a blow in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

A judge ordered legal advice justifying the state’s 9pm-5pm curfew must be handed over to the lawyers for Mornington Peninsula cafe owner Michelle Loielo, who is challenging the validity of the controversial measure.

The curfew is due to remain in place until October 26.

Melbourne