THE Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has called on the Andrews government to provide greater transparency on the daily reporting of COVID-19 cases across local government areas (LGAs) in Victoria.

Ms Bath said she had made representations seeking urgent clarification from Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos on the COVID-19 statistics at a local level after being contacted by many constituents.

“The state government has been providing a daily update on COVID-19 cases for the past 41 days and introduced local government area case reporting on April 4, 2020,” Ms Bath said.

“While Gippslanders are interested in [the] cumulative number of COVID-19 cases, what they want is reporting of ‘active’ and ‘recovered’ cases in their own LGA.

“Gippslanders are seeking a comprehensive understanding and an accurate picture of the COVID-19 situation in their own backyards.

“They want to better understand the path to recovery, see the light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel and be reassured their actions are making a difference during these uncertain times.”

Ms Bath said the state government’s Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) website provides state-wide data on total cases, hospitalisations, deaths, testing and the number of recovered cases, however it only provides a cumulative case figure for each local government area.

“The confusion around cumulative case numbers and recovered cases must be better reported,” Ms Bath said.

“The community need to see positives in the fight against COVID-19 regionally, and not just receive the big picture.

“At a time when many in our regional communities feel isolated and vulnerable, improved reporting of COVID-19 cases across local government areas would deliver hope as we band together and fight the pandemic.

“Importantly, it would provide our communities with a greater sense of worth that sacrifices made, the self-isolation and social distancing practices have been and continue to be worthwhile,” said Ms Bath.