Fears new restrictions will not stop rise in COVID death toll

Daniel Andrews announces tougher restrictions yesterday (ABC News)

Despite hopes Victoria’s tough new restrictions will stem the spread of COVID-19, health experts have warned the death toll could continue to rise even after the virus is contained in the state. Source: ABC News.

Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday announced a toughening of restrictions across the state, including a curfew across Melbourne and a return to stay-at-home orders in regional Victoria.

The stage four restrictions are driven in part by the rise of “mystery” community transmission cases, where the source of the infection is unknown, prompting fears more virus is in the community than has been reported.

Mr Andrews will today reveal more detail on how industry will be affected, with many businesses expected to close for the duration of the six-week shutdown.

President of the Australian Medical Association’s Victorian branch, Julian Rait, said the new restrictions would “very likely succeed in reducing the number of cases and hopefully bring the pandemic under control in Victoria”. He said the situation in aged care was "still a very serious concern".

The AMA had been calling for a tougher set of restrictions for weeks as the state continued to have record-high infections and deaths.

Victoria is now under both a state of disaster and a state of emergency, with a curfew imposed on all of Melbourne from 8pm to 5am. All Victorian students will return to remote learning from Wednesday, and Melbourne childcare centres would be closed from Thursday.

Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has given a “strong recommendation” for people to wear masks in four circumstances to stop the spread of COVID-19 in that state, including inside churches and other places of worship, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

FULL STORY

Victoria’s new coronavirus restrictions welcomed, but ‘very serious concern’ remains for aged care and hospitals (By Yara Murray-Atfield, ABC News)

Victorian coronavirus restrictions about to tighten on business as Melbourne enters stage four lockdown (ABC News)

Masks recommended at supermarkets and churches as NSW records 12 new cases (By Kate Aubusson, Alexandra Smith and Angus Thompson, Sydney Morning Herald)

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