All new COVID-19 cases in Australia over the last day have occurred in Victoria, with the State’s continued battle to contain its outbreak “a warning to everybody in Australia”.
Victoria today confirmed 66 new cases over the last day, on top of the 76 it recorded yesterday.
It comes as health officials confirmed more than 8,000 people had caught the virus since it broke out, but more than 7,000 had so far recovered.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said the number of people hospitalised and in intensive care had also risen.
“27 people are now in hospital across the country with COVID-19 and this includes seven people in intensive care,” he said.
“Yesterday, there were 24 in hospital with five in intensive care units so we are seeing a continuing rise in the number of people in hospital and in intensive care. This is very concerning and reinforces the very serious risks of COVID-19, especially to older people and people with serious chronic disease.”
It comes as Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos raised the possibility of a “super spreader” being responsible for many of the new cases.
Professor Kidd said health authorities were “still learning” about the in different patterns of transmission.
“We did have super spreaders with another coronavirus, which was the SARS virus. We have not yet identified many people he was so-called super spreaders in Australia,” he said.
He said that despite the slight drop in case numbers from yesterday, the Victorian situation was still worrying.
“We continue to be very concerned about the outbreak in Victoria and the continuing cases of community transmission,” he said.
“This is a warning for everybody in Australia.”
Professor Kidd said news more than 10,000 people in hotspots were refusing tests was also a concern.
“I’m very concerned about anyone who is refusing to have a test, particularly when we have high levels of community transmission,” he said.
“The more we can test, the more people in the wider community who are approached, have a test, they are negative, they are okay — that will put everyone’s mind at ease.”