Victoria Has 3 New Cases, Contact Tracing Inquiry Set to Start

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

Victoria has had no new coronavirus deaths, leaving the state toll at 819 and the national figure at 907.

There were also only three new cases but Melbourne’s mystery cases to Monday rose by one to four.

The city’s rolling average dropped again to 2.4 and the corresponding figures for regional Victoria remain on none.

Meanwhile, the state’s oft-critiqued contact tracing regime will be put under the spotlight as the state seeks to remain open after a long COVID-19 lockdown.

The upper house on Wednesday agreed to a motion, put forward by the opposition, to establish a parliamentary inquiry into the system.

The inquiry will be carried out by the Legal and Social Issues Committee and hand down an initial report to the Legislative Council by November 30, with a final report due by Dec. 14.

Medical experts have raised concerns over the state’s contact tracing system for months, with opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier saying it was responsible for widespread community transmission during the second wave.

She told AAP it needed to be “at the top of its game” to give the public and businesses confidence “that as we open up, we will stay open.”

Chief health officer Brett Sutton says the state now has the best contact tracing system in the country, noting it had been forged in the second wave.

“We’ve had to step up with really significant requirements,” he told reporters.

“I think this set-up we’ve got now could do things at scale if required.”

Victoria recorded two new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, as about 180,000 people returned to work in Melbourne’s hospitality and retail industries.

The new cases were close contacts of people who had already been diagnosed with COVID-19, and were self-isolating at home when they tested positive.

They are linked to a cluster in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, which now totals 41 people across 12 households.

There was mixed news for Melbourne’s upcoming major sports events.

Next Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup will be crowdless but an estimated 25,000 spectators a day could be allowed to attend the MCG for the Boxing Day Test.