Victoria on Wednesday recorded recorded 410 new cases and 21 new deaths – marking the state’s deadliest ever day.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the deaths confirmed on Wednesday were: Two women and a man in their 70s, six women and five men in their 80s, five men and a woman in their 90s and a woman in her 100s. The Premier added that 16 out of those 21 deaths can be linked to aged care outbreaks.
Mr Andrews says 476 aged care residents have been transferred from residential aged care to hospital due to coronavirus outbreaks.
“There’s a very significant challenge there each and every day,” he said.
“Whilst we’ve seen some stability come to some centres, some facilities that were in crisis, everybody is working together, everybody is very much focused on trying to stay ahead of this in these settings and not have a situation where we see a repeat of some of the really difficult, really difficult, and tragic scenes.”
Victoria’s virus toll has risen to 267 – with more than 100 deaths in the past week.
While today saw a devastating rate of deaths, Mr Andrews says there are positive signs in the data from the last week.
“We have seen, if you look at the average over the last seven days, we are seeing the line come down,” he said.
“Ultimately, tonight at midnight marks one week of the most significant elements of the stage 4. So work places. That’s what really drives down movement. And certainly movement that’s much more connected to the transmission of this virus.”
Victorian Treasurer slammed over hotel quarantine management
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas was slammed by Liberal MP Richard Riordan in a parliamentary committee meeting after being asked about the state’s hotel quarantine system.
Premier Daniel Andrews recently came out to say that he did not believe Australian Defence Force support was offered to help run Victoria’s hotel quarantine scheme, a remark that was disputed by Australia’s Defence Minister.
Nationals MP Danny O’Brien asked the Premier why the Government engaged private security when it set up the quarantine hotels, rather than police or Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel.
“I don’t believe ADF support was on offer,” Mr Andrews told the hearing.
“It’s been provided in limited circumstances in New South Wales, not to provide security as such but to provide transportation from the airport to hotels.
“I think it is fundamentally incorrect to assert that there was hundreds of ADF staff on offer and somehow someone said no. That’s not, in my judgement, accurate.”
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds rejected Mr Andrews’ claim that ADF personnel weren’t offered, saying, “the ADF was consistently advised that its assistance was not required for any ‘public facing roles’ in Victoria,” she said in a statement.
In the Parliamentary committee meeting last night, Richard Riordan, deputy chair of the parliamentary committee, asked Mr Pallas whether he was aware, as a member of Victoria’s crisis cabinet, of problems in hotel quarantine.
Saying he wouldn’t comment about the situation, due to an upcoming inquiry into the program, the Liberal MP proceeded to cut off the Treasurer mid-sentence.
“It was a yes or no, I don’t need to hear the whole ‘there’s a judicial inquiry’. Victorians have heard that for three weeks,” Mr Riordan said.
Mr Pallas proceeded to state that more than 100,000 pages of documents have been sent to the hotel quarantine inquiry. Yet, Mr Riordan wouldn’t take the answer, cutting him off again.
“OK Treasurer, I don’t need a lesson on inquiries,” he said.