PM, premier discuss ‘further steps’ to control outbreak

Victorian premier flags further restrictions after second-worst day of infections.

victorian premier daniel andrews

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has flagged tighter restrictions after the state recorded a further 627 new cases and eight new deaths on Friday.

Mr Andrews said he spoke with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday night and the prospect of further restrictions was discussed, especially as the numbers now reflect the situation under the current stage three lockdown order.

Mr Andrews said that while he would not announce any further restrictions today, he may have to announce “further steps” or restrictions after a full analysis of the first 21 days of data from Melbourne’s stage three lockdown.

“That analysis, that thoughtful, careful, very considered and really important work will happen today, tomorrow, and then we will have more to say,” Mr Andrews said.

“I have got no announcements to make about next steps but it is important to acknowledge that these numbers are too high.

“We could not open up with these numbers, we could not open up with even half these numbers. It may well be the case ... that we need to take further steps, that the steps we have taken are not enough to pull things up.

“The data will tell us, the experts will tell us, what if any next steps need to be taken.”

Mr Andrews acknowledged that there were people who would like to see further restrictions announced right away, but said he would continue to be guided by the best public health advice.

“They will be made in good time but I don’t think it is unreasonable to say that there are a whole range of potential next steps that will come at a very significant cost and I mean that in all of its senses,” Mr Andrews said.

“A well-considered process is always better than one that isn’t.”

Victoria’s chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said while the numbers were still “dispiriting” the stage three restrictions had still had an impact, driving the R-number (the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to) from 1.75 at the start of the lockdown down to one.

Prof. Sutton said one of the options being examined was a move to stage four restrictions, which would be similar to the successful New Zealand lockdown.

“Obviously, a step up in restrictions is a really significant measure but we are wanting it to be informed by evidence to the fullest extent possible, against that point of being proportionate,” Prof. Sutton said. 

“There are really significant consequences for what you do, in terms of increased restrictions. It has to be focused on what the data tells us about where transmission might be occurring.

“It may be the case that an intervention in a certain area will make a difference. It may also be the case that we look at restrictions in an area that is not a driver of transmission and that would be an unfortunate impost and unfortunate consequences for everyone who might be involved there.

“We are balancing harms, the harms of what increased cases over time would be, and the unfolding aged care tragedy that we have right now and all of the other consequences that happen when you have got increased restrictions,” Prof. Sutton said.

“We absolutely have to get the cases down because if we don’t do that, there will be ongoing consequences for everyone into the future. But we’re totally mindful of those broader impacts.”

A lot of the Victorian data is increasingly pointing towards workplace transmission and many people believe the next steps may require the closing of some workplaces, including places with high records of transmission such as meatworks.

Mr Andrews said there were a lot of options on the table with regard to potential next steps.

“Next steps will be as much about mystery cases out in the community, as they will be about outbreaks in large workplaces,” Mr Andrews said.

“You can have meatworks well in hand, you can have all the processes that we’ve got in place, but if numbers are still growing and you have got a sense and the data is starting to tell you that there may be more community transmission that’s unrelated to those work places, they are still less of a problem but dealing with that may need a broader set of policies and may need us to take further steps.”

NSW recorded a surge of up to 21 new cases, with only two of those found in hotel quarantine.

Queensland has recorded one new case that has been traced back to the two new cases recorded on Thursday.

Do you expect Victoria to announce further restrictions over the weekend? What do you think they should be?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Paddington
    31st Jul 2020
    3:46pm
    I have taken my own steps and choose to be anti social until it is safe to venture out again. My only motivation is to see my grandkids when this is all over.
    Anonymous
    1st Aug 2020
    9:38am
    Yes stay home we don't want you sickly bloody pensioners spreading the disease.
    Bakka
    31st Jul 2020
    3:46pm
    Gotta hand it to Andrews... he has perfected the art of "reporting the news without being seen to be responsible for it".
    A little like a sports broadcaster.. he is there at the game but not on the field taking hits.
    Very good political savvy on his part.
    Anonymous
    31st Jul 2020
    4:19pm
    Yes Bakka most of the problems caused in Victoria has been caused by Andrews and his hopeless Government.
    He is wanting to lock us up completely as that is the Socialist way but I do fear that there may be vigilante problems and Parliament may not be quite the same when it is all over.
    Tanker
    31st Jul 2020
    5:45pm
    Robo providing the opposition views on Andrews here.
    Andrews has in fact accepted, as Premier, the responsibility for the quarantine hotel fiasco. Other than that he has preformed as well, if not better, than any other State Premier or indeed the P.M.
    He has been succinct and definite with the requirements for the restrictions. The fact that 25% of those testing positive are not staying home cannot be laud at anyone's door other that those stupid selfish individuals.
    The aged care issue is actually the responsibility of the Federal Government and the Minister responsible seems to have gone missing.
    Fedup
    31st Jul 2020
    5:48pm
    You can’t hold Andrews responsible for people’s stupidity. I think he is doing a pretty good job under the circumstances.
    Fedup
    31st Jul 2020
    6:01pm
    Andrews told people not to protest for BLM, but they did. He told people not to visit and hug family for Ramadan, but they did. Admittedly he didn’t tell quarantine hotel guards not to have sex with the inmates, but he can hardly be blamed for not predicting that scenario!

    Robbo, if keeping people safe is “the Socialist way” then thank heaven for Socialists.
    Anonymous
    31st Jul 2020
    6:13pm
    Hey Tanker and Fedup Andrews has not admitted the responsibility of the Quarantine hotel fiasco it is because of this we will be in full lock down or will be soon his bullshit ideas have not worked that is why the cases are going up and up. Look at the case numbers rising Fed up there is no safety there but you two lefties wouldn't know, too stupid.

    I tell you what you need to get on the dark web you two idiots and see what is going to happen very interesting
    Tanker
    31st Jul 2020
    6:30pm
    Sorry Robo but perhaps you missed it but Andrews did take responsibility.
    Anonymous
    1st Aug 2020
    9:40am
    No he didn't he blamed everyone else its what he does, he stuffs everything.
    Country John
    31st Jul 2020
    4:14pm
    I do not understand why the delay in announcing a lockdown or etc that has the 2 or 3-day delay in being implemented. When Melbourne went into lockdown a couple of weeks back sporting teams, families all made a run for the border before it closed. Why not say that the border is closed as of this moment and stop giving people time to escape and possibly take the virus with them.
    justme
    31st Jul 2020
    5:08pm
    I'm not an Andrews supporter; but unless you could do a better job balancing all the relevant considerations criticism is a bit empty.
    I wouldn't want his job right now.
    Let's just get what's needed in and get it done so we can get passed this.
    Public health restrictions are not an attack on freedoms.
    But there are devastating financial implications for business, families, and individuals.
    Captain
    31st Jul 2020
    6:45pm
    Justme, I have to agree re criticism. Most people would get everything right if they had 20/20 hindsight.

    I would love to know who predicted where this virus was going to go. I would imagine no-one (except Mr. Donald Trump - tongue in cheek on that one).

    31st Jul 2020
    6:06pm
    The aged care issue is actually the responsibility of the Federal Government https://scrabblewordfinder.vip/ and the Minister responsible seems to have gone missing.
    Farside
    1st Aug 2020
    9:52pm
    what will make the disinterested mutts that have been ignoring the CHO directives thus far any more compliant with increased restrictions?
    Farside
    1st Aug 2020
    9:52pm
    what will make the disinterested mutts that have been ignoring the CHO directives thus far any more compliant with increased restrictions?
    Farside
    1st Aug 2020
    9:52pm
    what will make the disinterested mutts that have been ignoring the CHO directives thus far any more compliant with increased restrictions?
    Farside
    2nd Aug 2020
    2:23pm
    totally unnecessary for most residents but how much confidence can you have the recalcitrant mutts that have paid scant regard to the CHO directives are going to comply and do the right thing this time?


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