Victoria records five new coronavirus cases, three deaths

Victoria has recorded five new cases of coronavirus and three more deaths in the past day, as Melburnians awoke to eased restrictions.

The numbers bring Melbourne's rolling 14-day average down to 20.3. There are 31 active cases with an unknown source.

The last time the daily new case number was so low was on June 12, when four cases were reported.

The Department of Health and Human Services is urging Victorians to continue to get tested.

On Monday morning, the Director of Epidemiology at the Doherty Institute called for the Victorian government to explain exactly how contact tracing has improved as the state eases restrictions further.

Fast, effective contact tracing has been named by multiple agencies as absolutely critical to avoid a repeat of scale infections seen in Victoria's second wave as more businesses begin to re-open and more people begin to move around the community again.

The Doherty Institute's Professor Jodie McVernon said while there had been a "massive scaling up of capacity" in contact tracing, the public needed to hear and see exactly what that looked like, and a clear plan for how to respond to inevitable outbreaks.

If there is another outbreak, members of the public should know what to expect and what to do, Professor McVernon said. "What is the approach going to be? What will be expected of us?" she said on ABC Radio National's AM program.

Victoria's new Health Minister Martin Foley was asked on Sunday whether he had assured himself that contact tracing was where it should be, and replied "not yet".

"But give me another little while and I'm sure I will be getting briefings around how all of those key pillar elements of the suppression strategy will be delivered, because all of government is committed to the strategy."

Professor McVernon said clear planning and communication about what would be required of the public in the event of new local outbreaks was key to keeping the virus at manageable levels.

"I think some of the government’s concerns has been that people will kind of go crazy when the restraints are lifted, but having that shared understanding that … you don’t need a model to show that there is a 100 per cent probability that we will have more incursions in the future so when those happen, how are we going to respond?" she said.

"It’s a bit like cleaning the house, you know? You can clean the house perfectly, but it’s going to get dirty again so what are we going to do next?"

There were no new coronavirus cases recorded elsewhere in the country on Sunday.

Trump Biden 2020

Our weekly newsletter will deliver expert analysis of the race to the White House from our US correspondent Matthew Knott. Sign up for The Sydney Morning Herald‘s newsletter here, The Age‘s here, Brisbane Times‘ here and WAtoday‘s here. 

Most Viewed in National

Source: Read Full Article