29 Jul 2020

Covid-19: New Victoria cases to be 'doorknocked' by military - Premier

3:16 pm on 29 July 2020

Victoria has recorded its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in more than a week, with 295 people testing positive, while nine people have died.

Ambulance officers transfer a resident from the Epping  Gardens aged care facility in the Melbourne suburb of Epping on July 28, 2020 as the city battles fresh outbreaks of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

An ambulance officer transfers an elderly man with coronavirus from a rest home to hospital in Melbourne. Photo: AFP

Premier Daniel Andrews said seven of the nine deaths were residents in private-sector aged care homes.

Today's fatalities include one person aged in their 60s, one in their 70s, five aged in their 80s and two people in their 90s.

About one in six active cases in Victoria is linked to aged care homes, 804 of the state's total 4839 active cases.

There are 307 people in hospital with 41 in intensive care.

Yesterday, Victoria announced 384 new cases, and six deaths; on Monday it recorded its highest ever toal of 532 cases plus six deaths and Sunday's total was 459 and 10 deaths.

Victoria's state premier, Daniel Andrews, speaks during a press conference in Melbourne on December 21, 2017, after car ploughed into a crowd of people earlier in the day.

Daniel Andrews Photo: MARK PETERSON / AFP

Andrews said every person who tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus would from today be doorknocked by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and state health officials.

"That will be not just for compliance but it's also about making sure every single case knows and understands what we're asking them to do," he said.

ADF and health department teams have already doorknocked about 500 Victorians who had tested positive to coronavirus but were not contactable by phone.

Andrews said 29 people who were supposed to be isolating were not home and those cases have been referred to Victoria Police.

"... we still have numbers that are way too high," he said.

"There are still numbers of people, significant numbers of people who have symptoms going to work and that is why my consistent appeal is for those people to not do that.

"Go and get tested instead. That's the most important thing to do."

See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

Anger in Queensland over new cases

Meanwhile, a private school in Logan, south of Brisbane, has been temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for Covid-19.

The woman is one of two new cases of coronavirus in Queensland today after both women travelled together interstate earlier this month.

The new cases come as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today declared Greater Sydney a Covid hotspot.

No one from Sydney will be allowed into Queensland from 1am on Saturday.

"I'm absolutely furious that this has happened. That these two people have gone to Victoria, have come back and have given misleading information to authorities," she said.

"I also want to say now that it is going to cause a lot of inconvenience to families but it is too important and we must protect Queenslanders."

Health Minister Steven Miles said a large contact tracing effort was under way at Parklands Christian College where cleaning was also taking place.

"Both women likely acquired the disease interstate, they have a history of interstate travel, that brings our total number of cases to 1078 with four now in hospital.

"They both travelled together recently including to Brisbane from Melbourne on the 21 July via Sydney."

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks

Gladys Berejiklian Photo: AFP

Deputy police commissioner Steve Gollschewski said initial information suggested there were incorrect details on the women's border declaration passes.

"I can tell you that this is a criminal investigation we are conducting so I am constrained about what I will say about that at this stage," he said.

Gym restrictions in NSW have been tightened after health authorities confirmed 19 new cases of coronavirus across the state.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has tightened restrictions, announcing all venues now require a permanent marshal at all times.

"All gyms need to have a Covid-marshal in place, including gyms who have a business model where no staff are present," she said.

Gyms and fitness centres will also have to register their Covid Safety Plan.

She added that Palaszczuk had not been in touch with her over the plan to ban Sydney residents from Queensland.

"That's a matter for the Queensland Premier, but it would have been nice if she told me," Berejiklian said.


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