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725 new cases and 15 deaths recorded in Victoria as Australia suffers worst day since the pandemic began

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Victoria has recorded 725 new coronavirus cases and 15 new deaths — the highest daily totals in the state since the pandemic began.

One of the people who died was a man in his 30s, Premier Daniel Andrews said. The other people who died were three men and one woman in their 70s, three men and three women in their 80s, and three men and one woman in their 90s.

Mr Andrews said 12 of those 15 deaths were linked to aged care.

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There are 538 Victorians with coronavirus in hospital — an increase of 82 people from yesterday’s update. Forty-two of them are in intensive care.

Elective surgery in regional Victoria will be put on hold until further notice, except for category 1 and urgent category 2 patients, the Premier announced today.

“This is a regrettable decision but it is a very important one in order to preserve sufficient capacity in our entire health system,” he said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews arrives to a press conference in Melbourne, Monday, August 3, 2020. Victoria has recorded 429 new cases of coronavirus since yesterday and 13 deaths. (AAP Image/James Ross)

Those regional patients who do qualify for elective surgery may also qualify for COVID-19 testing beforehand, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

The Premier said a further permit system would be introduced for families to access childcare. However he acknowledged there would be “many, many” families who normally use childcare who would not be able to access it.

“If you are a permitted worker, regardless of from home or in person doing that permitted work, if you attest through that simple permit process you have no-one else to look after your children in your household, you will be able to access childcare.”

Federal Government supports Victorian childcare centres

The Federal Government will give money to Victorian childcare centres, asking that they allow parents tokeep their children at home without losing their places or facing fees, Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan says.

Additional funding will be provided to centres in the state, to encourage them not to charge fees for absent children for an additional 30 days.

The Federal Government offered free childcare in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.(ABC News: Loretta Florance)

It will effectively allow parents to keep their children out of care for six extra working weeks without being stung by additional costs, if their centre agrees to waive the fee.

“Ultimately the decision to waive the gap fee is up to the provider themselves, but what this package does is incentivise providers to waive the gap fee,” Mr Tehan said.

“We want those parents to keep their children enrolled because we know once we come out of this pandemic, they will need the care for their children so that they can go back to work.”

Sourced By: ABC News

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