IN FRIDAY’S COVID-19 update by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Waimer, it was revealed that Phillip Island still has no local community transmission of the virus as a result of the visit by a positive case from Melbourne between July 12 and July 15 last week.
But we’re not out of the woods yet with 100s of locals still going through their 14-day isolation after visiting a Tier 1 site and needing to record a negative test again before being given the all-clear to exit isolation.
But it is a good sign.
Of the 14 positive cases of locally acquired COVID-19 notified in Victoria on Friday, July 23, one of the cases was a household contact of one of the six Melbourne people associated with the visit to Phillip Island.
But all seven have been back in Melbourne, in isolation since last week, and therefore there are no additional exposure sites in the Bass Coast area.
There was also an announcement today, July 23, by the Gippsland Region Public Health Unit that despite adding the King Road Treatment Plant in Coronet Bay to the Cowes Wastewater Treatment Plant for COVID-19 testing, no positive fragments have been detected for the past two days.
Of the 14 new cases in Melbourne, 10 or 11 were in full isolation, while 3 were out in the community for less than 24 hours.
Four were connected with the Ami Park outbreak, three with the Ms Frankie’s Restaurant in Cremorne (Richmond), two more students from Trinity Grammar and one each from St Pats Murrumbeena, Bacchus Marsh Grammar, household contact of the Phillip Island visitors’ group, Hume outbreak, West Gate Tunnel group, and one a primary close contact of a Young and Jacksons staff member.
Both the Premier Daniel Andrews and Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said Victoria was “on track” for an easing of the lockdown on Tuesday but that “testing in the next few days” would decide that.
There will be no early announcement before Tuesday, said the Premier.
One proviso, out of Victoria’s control is the exploding problem in Sydney where there was an additional 136 cases on Friday, 53 of whom were infectious in the community and only picked up by the 86,620 tests conducted in the 24 hours.
As a result, the NSW Government is calling for a “National Emergency” to be declared, hoping it triggers a Commonwealth Government focus, particularly on Sydney’s South West and Western suburbs.
In turn, Premier Andrews has called for a “Ring of Steel” around Sydney to stop it from becoming a national disaster, with measures including curfews needed.
Mr Andrews has so far rejected the idea that Victoria’s meagre reserves of especially the Pfizer vaccine should be directed to the affected Sydney suburbs where it is increasingly being seen that only vaccinations will be able to stop the spread of the highly infectious Delta strain.