Australia

Victoria records 71 new local COVID-19 cases amid concern over people failing to isolate

Not enough Victorians with COVID-19 are isolating while infections, prompting a plea from Premier Daniel Andrews for people to stay at home.

Fifty five of the state’s 71 new cases on Monday were not isolating when they should have been.

“If you’re asked to isolate, it is incredibly important that you do that,” Mr Andrews told reporters on Monday.

“There’s no ducking down the shops or going and visiting someone. There’s no room for error, there is literally no room for error. You have got to be isolating for the entirety of that 14-day period.”

There are 494 active cases in the state, 29 people are in hospital including nine in intensive care, five of whom are on ventilators.

Forty nine of Monday’s cases are linked to known outbreaks, but the sources of 22 infections are a mystery.

Among those infected are staff at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, who cared for an infected Shepparton man.

It was revealed on Sunday the man was not tested before being admitted for surgery on 12 August and had been in various parts of the hospital, including the ICU and a cardiac ward.

A family member who visited a patient in the same room as the man later tested positive, alerting the hospital to the outbreak.

Hundreds of health workers at the hospital have been forced into self-isolation due to risk of exposure.

There are 10 confirmed cases linked to Royal Melbourne Hospital and another 14 cases have been added to the Shepparton outbreak, which totals 34 cases.

Regional Victoria entered lockdown at 1pm on Saturday, due to the emergence of cases in Shepparton and fears the virus had spread to other towns.

Victoria Police Chief Commission Shane Patton confirmed police and the health department are investigating a large funeral held in Shepparton in the lead up to the outbreak.

“I know we’re looking at what the numbers were as to whether they exceeded (the 50-person limit),” he told 3AW radio.

As of Monday morning, there were more than 52,000 vaccine appointments available for the week ahead with Mr Andrews imploring Victorians to fill them as the state aims towards one million doses by the middle of September.

There has been 10,000 cancellations and no shows each day in recent days, he said.

“The notion we can vaccinate people as fast as the Delta virus infects people, that is not what the what the Doherty modelling shows, it’s not the National Cabinet agreed position,” he said.

“We can open up tomorrow and say, rightio, we’re just going to vaccinate day and night, we don’t have the supply and Delta will move faster than we can vaccinate people.”

He warned though that even once 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the eligible population was vaccinated, it may be the end of statewide lockdowns, but localised ones may still happen.

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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