Australia Coronavirus: Victoria Sees Drop In COVID-19 Cases, Health Official Not Impressed

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Australia is sealing off the state of Victoria from the rest of the nation -- a move that has sparked panic-buying
Australia is sealing off the state of Victoria from the rest of the nation -- a move that has sparked panic-buying AFP / William WEST

Victoria recorded 177 new COVID-19 cases overnight Monday, a significant drop in number from Sunday’s 273. Despite this welcome news, a medical official said the state has not hit its peak yet. 

Victoria Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the total daily cases has dropped by close to 100 overnight. The state recorded back-to-back days of more than 200 cases over the weekend, with Saturday’s overnight count hitting 216.

Despite the good news, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned it’s too early to celebrate this as a victory.

“[It’s] clearly lower than the maximum number that we’ve had on any one day ... it’s great it’s lower than our peak,” Sutton said

“But it may not be our peak yet. So I would like to see a week of decreasing numbers before I come and say I have greater confidence about the direction we’re going in.”

Victoria imposed new lockdown orders last week following a surge in community transmission. The measures are expected to stay in place for six weeks in an aim to slow the spread of the virus. Sutton says the recent drop still cannot be taken as a sign the stay-at-home orders have successfully reduced infection rates.

In New South Wales, 14 new cases have been confirmed on Monday. Of this total, 8 are community transmission cases. Authorities point to Crossroads Hotel in Sydney as a growing cluster, with 13 cases coming from this pub.

“The concern is that this hotel is used by freight drivers who are transporting essential supplies across the country,” said Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd, noted Reuters.

“They are not being tested.”

Authorities have urged people who have visited the pub to isolate themselves and get tested. 

According to data from the Australian Department of Health, there are 9,797 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 108 deaths in the country. There are 57 hospital admissions due to the coronavirus in Victoria and 16 are in the ICU.

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