Victoria records 13 new coronavirus cases as more than 1,000 people recover from COVID-19

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warns against complacency.

Updated

April 13, 2020 12:55:07

There have been 13 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in Victoria overnight, bringing the state’s total to 1,281, as Premier Daniel Andrews has warned the current COVID-19 restrictions will be needed for “some time yet”.

Key points:

More than 1,000 people have recovered after contracting COVID-19Mr Andrews warned against complacency in the bid to slow the spread of the deadly virusVictoria Police issued more than 150 fines to people breaching physical-distancing rules yesterday

Of the confirmed cases in the state, 1,075 people have recovered from the virus.

“We’re seeing positive results, but they are fragile,” Mr Andrews said.

The state’s coronavirus death toll remains at 14 and 40 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including 14 in intensive care.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said this morning that only 33 new cases of the virus were confirmed across the country overnight.

However, Professor Murphy cautioned this was likely due to a downtrend in testing over the Easter weekend.

Mr Andrews said Victoria was beginning to flatten the curve of new infections but warned “there can be no sense of complacency”.

“This is not a matter of signalling we have had an ultimate victory over this. These are good numbers, these are much better than [other parts of the world] but they can change rapidly,” Mr Andrews said.

“We’re not seeing a doubling and tripling every few days, which sadly other parts of the world are.”

Mr Andrews warned the number would “change rapidly if people treat April like it’s any other year”.

It comes after the Premier announced yesterday the state of emergency in Victoria would be extended for another four weeks.

Vic COVID-19 snapshot

Confirmed cases so far: 1,281Deaths: 14Suspected community transmissions: 122Cases in hospital: 40Intensive care patients: 14Recovered patients: 1,075More than 70,000 Victorians testedUpdated Monday, April 13
Latest information from the Victorian Government

More than 400 fines issued over Easter long weekend

In the lead-up to the Easter long weekend, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt warned the holiday was “the most important weekend we may face in the whole course of the virus” as authorities urged Victorians to stay home.

Victoria Police issued 433 fines between 11:00pm on Thursday and 11:00pm on Easter Sunday after conducting thousands of spot checks across the state.

Of those, 158 fines were issued in the 24 hours to 11:00pm yesterday.

A police spokeswoman said examples of breaches included six outlaw motorcycle gang members gathered in cars on Flinders Street overnight, eight people having a party in St Kilda and “playing loud music”, and a number of overseas tourists having a party at a short-stay property in Cowes, south-east of Melbourne.

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Under Victoria’s stage three restrictions, there are only four reasons to leave the house — shopping for food and essential supplies, medical care or caregiving, work or education if necessary and exercise.

Victoria’s Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton last week told the ABC some of the fines that had been issued were unfair and the Government needed to continually review the restrictions it had in place.

Mr Andrews said police had provided “many, many” more warnings than infringement notices, and “from time to time they will seek to revise the decisions that they made”.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said the overall provisional number of penalty notices that had been issued by police for breaching the Chief Health Officer directions was 1,130.

They did not clarify how many had been withdrawn.

Hopes pinned on construction to help Victoria ‘bounce back’

The Premier vowed a construction boom underway across the state “will get bigger” to help the state’s economy recover on the other side of the pandemic.

He last week told the ABC in an exclusive interview that construction — which continues under the current stage three restrictions — would play a major role in the economic recovery from the crisis.

Speaking with Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan about level crossing removals today, Mr Andrews said construction jobs were “more important than ever to every single Victorian”.


Photo:

The massive project to remove Melbourne’s level crossings is continuing amid the shutdown measures. (ABC News: Timothy Marshall)

“There’s been a lot of damage done to the Australian economy and Victoria is not immune from that,” he said.

“I think there is capacity to bounce back … [due to] the strength of the Victorian economy before this pandemic and the JobKeeper and JobSeeker polices putting a floor under this. It a sense of a safety net and keeping a person connected to their employer I think we can be confident, not underestimating the challenge that we face — it’s going to be huge.”

The state budget has been postponed, and Mr Andrews said it would be “pointless trying to put together a budget right now”.

Ms Allan said level crossing removals had continued, with the latest to be removed at Toorak.

She said there was work continuing on the Metro Tunnel project, in regional Victoria on the Warrnambool line, the Monash Freeway and early works on the North-East Link project.

While unions have raised concerns about safety on construction sites, Ms Allan said the works were being done with modifications.

“Smoko doesn’t look like what it used to, now we have staggered smoko times and people more spread out across the site,” she said.

“There’s cleaning regimes going on across the site and different work practices so people aren’t spending to much time together in one place.”

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First posted

April 13, 2020 11:20:53

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