Authorities in Australian state of Victoria make masks compulsory for all

  • Authorities in Australian state of Victoria make masks compulsory for all

Authorities in Australian state of Victoria make masks compulsory for all

Thirty-seven of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks while 360 remain under investigation. 1,008 active cases are related to aged care.

Saturday's numbers come after two straight days where the reported case numbers rose above 600.

Daniel Andrews announced 397 cases of the virus and a further three deaths.

Mr Andrews' announcement comes as a map of the state revealed a grim insight into the severity of coronavirus infections in Victoria.

"We have a very hard challenge at the moment", he said.

And the number of cases classified as community transmission jumped by almost 100 between Thursday and Friday. "That is, in some respects, our biggest challenge".

Of the 10,931 coronavirus cases recorded in Victoria since the pandemic began, 1,841 - about 17 per cent - have so far been classified as community transmission. All staff have been asked to self-isolate, with close contacts tested on-site. Three more people have also died (all elderly), taking the state's death toll to 116.

The state's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Friday confirmed a New Zealand-style lockdown was being explored - restrictions which saw all businesses closed except for essential services.

Decisions would be based on state and national modelling, which Mr Andrews wanted publicly released.

"It is not a tap you can just turn on or off".

"That is why we find ourselves in a position to evaluate these things and we can't rule out further steps being taken, they are being taken because that is what is necessary, there will be nothing else driving it but when I am in a position to make further announcements of course I will".

On Thursday, Victoria recorded its deadliest day, with thirteen fatalities.

The premier said the Australian Defence Force and health department teams had visited 500 homes yesterday to ensure that people were self-isolating and found that a quarter were not at home.

Classified by Victorian health authorities as "community transmission", they are cases where, despite the efforts of contact tracing teams over several days, or sometimes weeks, they cannot trace the infection back to the "index case" or original source.

"I am fed up with it. Victoria Police are fed up with it", she told reporters. "There is absolutely no reason to drive from Werribee out to Springvale to buy groceries".

Around 100 people in Victoria's capital Melbourne are being investigated for breaking the lockdown rules.

The man is a direct contact of one of three women returning from Melbourne who allegedly lied on their border passes.