News Coronavirus ‘Small bit of optimism’ in Vic COVID crisis as NSW faces its own worrying leap
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‘Small bit of optimism’ in Vic COVID crisis as NSW faces its own worrying leap

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Victoria confirmed 177 more coronavirus cases on Monday – the first time since last Thursday its daily infections have fallen below 200.

Monday’s figure was well short of Victoria’s record high of 288 infections reported last Friday, and the 216 confirmed on Saturday and 273 on Sunday.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton said it offered room for “a small bit of optimism” – but there could be no complacency as the state did everything it could to fight the virus that has sent millions of Melburnians back into state three lockdowns.

“It’s great it’s lower than our peak. But it may not be our peak yet,” he said.

“I would like to see a week of decreasing numbers before I come and say I have greater confidence about the direction we’re going in.”

Victoria’s ongoing crisis comes amid escalating concerns that Sydney could be on the brink of a similar worrying outbreak.

crossroads hotel virus
The Crossroads Hotel cluster, first identified on Friday, has 13 linked cases. Photo: AAP

The outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, in south-western Sydney grew to 13 confirmed cases on Monday, with another pub in the area also closed after a pokies player who visited both venues tested positive for the virus.

NSW Health has also issued an alert for five more venues visited by Victorians who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

NSW had 14 new confirmed virus cases to 8pm Sunday, including four people in hotel quarantine, eight linked to the Crossroads Hotel, and two more who picked up the virus in Victoria.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged Australians to remain disciplined about protecting themselves from the coronavirus.

NSW and Victoria were at a crossroads as coronavirus cases in both states kept rising, he said.

“It is a reminder how important it is just to continue to observe the social distancing,” Mr Morrison told 2GB on Monday.

“There’s no vaccine.”

victoria 177 covid cases
Police patrol a locked-down public housing estate in Melbourne on Saturday. Photo: Getty

Mr Andrews said Victorians were clearly changing their behaviour as the Melbourne-wide lockdown of five million people neared the end of its first week.

“We’re seeing lots of places that would normally be hosting large numbers of people, we’re seeing very small numbers out and about,” he said.

“That says to me, plus … the actual data, we’re seeing people change their behaviour significantly. That’s what being on the front line is all about, everyone making a contribution for you, for your family, for your community, for every family and the entire state.”

Medical experts have also warned people to take the renewed coronavirus threat seriously, as the number of confirmed cases and deaths continues to rise.

The death of a Victorian man in his 70s took the national toll to 108 on Sunday.

“The message is the same for everybody. Do your part. Stop the spread,” deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Victorian lockdown showed Australia was one country in two stages.

“This is a real setback to the nation’s economic recovery, there’s no secret in that,” he told the ABC on Monday.

Victoria’s case breakdown (July 13)

  • Six cases linked to La Manna supermarket outbreak in Essendon;
  • 12 cases at Somerville Meats, in Tottenham;
  • Eight cases linked to the Riverina Apartments construction site in Footscray;
  • 26 cases linked to Menarock Life aged care, Essendon
  • 13 cases linked to Glendale aged care facility, Werribee;
  • 144 cases linked to the Al-Taqwa College outbreak, Truganina;
  • Two cases linked to Japara Central Park aged care in Windsor.

-with AAP