Could this be the breakthrough? That’s what public health officials are hoping as Victoria records a major drop in COVID infections.
The state’s COVID-19 caseload recorded a rare dip to under 1000 cases, with 905 new local infections – more than 300 fewer than reported on Saturday.
There have also been four more virus-related deaths.
The state continues to manage more than 17,300 active cases. There are 394 virus patients in Victorian hospitals, 75 of them in intensive care and 46 requiring ventilation.
Health officials say virus testers processed more than 64,000 results in the 24 hours to Saturday evening.
Victoria is now 87 per cent double vaccinated for everyone aged 12 and over.
Thousands of people gathered in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday to rally against government mandates on emergency powers and vaccines.
Protesters blocked tram lines as they marched from the state library to parliament. One man was seen carrying a homemade gallows with three nooses but there were no instances of unrest.
Former Liberal MP turned United Australia Party leader Craig Kelly addressed the protest, saying mandatory vaccinations were an “abuse of human rights”.
“We are being governed by medical bureaucrats that are part of a mad, insane cult of vaccinists,” he told the crowd.
Victoria’s deadline for construction workers to be fully vaccinated to continue working on site fell on Saturday.
The controversial edict, which sparked violent protests across Melbourne in September, requires all tradies to have had two vaccine doses.
The state’s aged care workers need to be fully vaccinated by Monday and about one million of the state’s essential workers in total will be required to be double-jabbed by November 26.
Liberal upper house leader David Davis has called the premier’s pandemic legislation a “grab for power” but urged those who took part in Saturday’s rally not to resort to violence.
“I would encourage Victorians to fight on every level against Daniel Andrews’ terrible pandemic bill … but they should make their views known in a peaceful and calm and sensible way,” he said.
The opposition has called for an early end to the state’s indoor mask mandate in a bid to encourage workers back to central Melbourne.
Under the current rules, people aged over 12 must be masked indoors unless at home.
The restriction is set to lift when the state reaches 90 per cent double vaccination on or about November 24, with the exception of public transport and high risk locations.