Australian medical expert warns against "complacency" as coronavirus cases continue to fall

Daniel Fowler
September 22, 2020

Melbourne, the coastal capital of the state of Victoria, the virus epicentre, has been under one of the toughest lockdowns following a resurgence in cases which saw saw daily infection rates hit more than 700.

"This light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer every day", Nick Coatsworth, the chief deputy medical officer told reporters in Canberra, the capital.

It dropped Melbourne's 14-day case average to 34.4, well below the target of 50 to lift some virus restrictions from September 28.

For the removal of Victoria's curfew there needs to be a state-wide daily average of fewer than five cases over two weeks and less than five cases from an unknown source over a two-week period.

Pressure continues to mount on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to speed up his COVID-19 roadmap after the state notched back-to-back days of low case numbers.

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The state is now operating under a strict road map that doesn't suggest the city will be freed until October 26, with a caveat on new case numbers.

The poll for The Australian shows 62 per cent of Victorian voters agree the premier has managed the crisis well despite the hotel quarantine bungle that unleashed the second outbreak.

Australia barred worldwide travelers in March, except for citizens and permanent residents, but had said after a dent in the first virus outbreak that it would look to resume travel to New Zealand this year.

The Victoria curbs have prevented a second wave of national infection, however.

New South Wales reported two new cases, while Queensland also reported two, bringing the national total to 18, the lowest national tally since June 23.

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