Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says he has approved another $1.3 billion to be invested into the state’s health system.
Victoria has recorded another 51 cases of coronavirus overnight, bringing the total to 968.
Community transmissions are now at 39 — another rise, while six people are in intensive care.
“If we all work together, we can be successful, or as successful as possible and avoid those terrible scenes that we see on our TVs every day in places like Italy and some parts of the US, France and Spain,” Mr Andrews said.
“We have to do everything we can to avoid that. This $1.3 billion is a big part of it, but it’s no more important than every single Victorian doing the right thing — stay at home, protect the health system, save lives.”
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos says the package will increase the number of intensive care beds in the state from about 500 to 4,500.
It will also fund things like personal protective equipment “that will be needed as we go forward”.
“This is worst-case scenario planning. We hope that we will never need to actually use this type of capacity in Victoria, and it is incumbent on all of us to do our bit and to make sure that this capacity won’t actually be needed.”
Mr Andrews said the social distancing measures implemented in Victoria were making a difference.
“It is helping us to suppress the total number of cases, to flatten the curve as we sometimes say, to protect our health system and to save lives,” he said.
The Premier warned if Victorians ignore the state’s enforcement measures, “there are very significant penalties”.
“Because if these rules aren’t followed, people will die. It’s as simple as that.”
— Ambulance Victoria (@AmbulanceVic) March 31, 2020
Mr Andrews also professed his gratitude to “everyone who’s working right across the health system”.
“The whole team are doing a fantastic job,” he said.