Coronavirus crisis: Victoria records three deaths, 397 cases

Grant Boone
August 2, 2020

Victoria has recorded 397 new cases of Covid-19 today and three deaths.

Melbourne's streets have been quiet this week as cases continued to spiral.

Andrews said his government was deeply anxious that 49 "mystery cases" identified on Saturday could indicate the virus was spreading widely through the Melbourne community and confirmed he was in discussions with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison about tougher restrictions.

"If you're out on your own, and you're not coming into contact with anybody else - if it's just you and livestock, or you're on a tractor and you're doing whatever it is, then you wouldn't need to wear it", Mr Andrews said.

The 27-year-old Bellbird Park man - the Sunshine State only case of COVID-19 reported on Friday - is believed to have caught the virus when he ate at the same restaurant as an infected woman charged with illegally entering the State.

Such restrictions would include the nearly complete shutdown of Melbourne's public transport network, starting from Wednesday.

Mr Andrews has previously indicated Victorian lockdown restrictions could be extended past their initial mid-August expiry if daily case numbers remain high.

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"We have all sorts of different discussions with peak bodies ... with people across all sorts of settings", he said.

"Even minor changes have a significant cost".

South Australia also recorded a new case of COVID-19 on Saturday - a man aged in his 20s who had returned from interstate and has been in quarantine. But a week ago, an outbreak began at a Da Nang hospital.

The Australian Medical Association and other medical experts have led growing calls for the type of tough stage four lockdown that has halted the virus in New Zealand.

Victoria's rate of infection has climbed to 164.9 per 100,000 residents, versus NSW's 46.5.

"We can't open up again at these sorts of levels and therefore there's very detailed work being done about what possible next steps might look like", he said. At least one of the 17 new cases has no known source of infection.

Australia's coronavirus death toll has risen to 201, with Victorian leaders considering New Zealand-style lockdowns to get community transmission under control.

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