Victoria Has 2 Virus Deaths, 11 New Cases

Victoria Has 2 Virus Deaths, 11 New Cases
Empty streets of the city are seen in Melbourne, Australia, on July 27, 2020. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Victoria has had two COVID-19 deaths, taking the state toll to 763 and the national figure to 851.

There were only 11 new cases as Melbourne’s 14-day case average dropped to 34.4, while the regional figure came in at 1.6.

This is the lowest daily COVID-19 case number since June 16, when it was nine—before the start of the state’s second wave.

The 14-day average for cases with an unknown source is down to 47 for Melbourne and there have been none in regional Victoria.

The decline in case numbers is a “cause for great optimism and positivity right across metropolitan Melbourne”, Premier Daniel Andrews said on Sept 20 after 14 cases were reported.

“That is proof positive beyond any question that this strategy is working,” he said.

Melbourne’s daily average is well below the target of 50 to lift some virus restrictions later this month.

Andrews said the path towards easing rules was being constantly reviewed.

“There’s no good opening up too early. There’s no good letting our frustrations get the better of us,” he said.

“All that will mean is that everything metropolitan Melbourne has given, everything that everyone has done to produce these low, but still not low enough, numbers will count for nothing.”

Optimism has risen among Melbourne small businesses, with a survey showing 35 percent now believe the Victorian economy will be better in one year’s time.

That compares with just 17 percent in August believing the state’s economy will improve by then, the latest Sensis Business Index showed.

More also think the national economy will mend, with 26 percent saying it will be better in a year compared with 14 percent last month.

Despite the premier’s upbeat tone, frustrations were evident on Sunday as anti-lockdown protests continued in Melbourne.

More than a dozen protesters illegally gathered at Chadstone Shopping Centre and belted out a rendition of John Farnham’s You’re The Voice before police intervened.

Two people were arrested and six were issued hefty fines, adding to Saturday’s 16 arrests and 21 fines after up to 100 people rallied in Melbourne’s inner beachside suburb of Elwood.