Australia

Victoria records 190 local COVID-19 cases as businesses set to get more aid

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There are 1,301 active cases in Victoria.

The latest daily case count is down from the 208 cases reported a day earlier, which was the highest number since August 22.

There are 76 people with COVID-19 in Victorian hospitals, including 23 in intensive care, Mr Pakula said.

None of those people have been fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Premier Daniel Andrews is hatching plans to give vaccinated Victorians more freedoms and “lock out” others refusing to get the jab from venues such as sports stadiums, cinemas and pubs.

Discussions are underway with industry to see how a “vaccinated economy” would work, Mr Andrews confirmed, with the required technology set to be trialled in regional Victoria after it exits lockdown.

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He has also confirmed the government is working on a home quarantine program to bring stranded Victorian residents home from NSW.

There has been a shift in focus from virus case numbers to vaccination numbers in Victoria this week, as authorities conceded the state cannot return to COVID-zero.

Saturday’s data confirmed that more than 2,553,000 vaccinations have been administered in Victoria.

“We are not going to be driving this down to zero. That does not mean the rules are not ongoing. In some respect, we have to try even harder,” Mr Andrews said.

The premier continued to push for people to take up 50,000 available AstraZeneca appointments, despite an extra four million Pfizer doses flooding into Australia this month as part of a swap deal with the UK.

A further 50,000 priority vaccine appointments will also be available for senior high school students from Monday, with pop-up vaccination hubs at several schools.

Most of the state’s restrictions will remain in place until at least 70 per cent of eligible Victorians are fully vaccinated, though some reprieve will be granted when 70 per cent have received their first dose.

The state was forecast to hit that initial mark on September 23, but it has since been revised to September 18.

SBS is providing live translations of daily New South Wales and Victoria COVID-19 press conferences in various languages. Click here for more information.

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