Victoria has reported more than 100 new cases of Covid-19 for the first time in four days, as premier Daniel Andrews said he would not be rushed to announce relaxed restrictions before Sunday.
On Thursday, Andrews said a leaked plan for the state’s reopening, published by the Herald Sun newspaper, was “out of date” and “had no status” as it had never been given to him or cabinet.
The premier had previously said the government would announce its roadmap for easing restrictions on Sunday, and on Thursday, Andrews said that opening up too early could risk case numbers “exploding”.
The state recorded 113 new cases of the virus on Thursday, and 15 people died in the previous 24 hour. Thirty-five of the new cases were healthcare workers.
Andrews said that relaxations would not be “guided by the dates on the calendar” but will be “guided by the data and the science”.
“It will be guided by how many cases there are in Victoria and the types of cases,” he said.
“I know everyone wants to open up tomorrow, but if we were to do that, these numbers would explode and we would have a couple of weeks of sunshine and we would be back most likely in an even worse position than we were four or five weeks ago.
“Sunday is the day the government will announce our roadmap,” the premier said. “The documents that have been the subject of much interest over the last few hours are out of date and have no status.”
Meanwhile, New South Wales reported 12 new cases of the virus, with nine acquired locally. The total number of cases linked to the CBD cluster grew to 52.
Two of the new cases reported on Thursday were school students – one at St Paul’s Catholic College in Greystanes and one at Girraween public school.
The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said she spoke to Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who remained firm on denying NSW’s requests to reopen their shared border.
Berejiklian said Queensland had given NSW a very tough requirement of a certain number of new cases, which the state might never reach.
“I don’t know if we will ever get to that case number,” Berejiklian said. “They are putting on a pretty big ask during a pandemic.
“I didn’t get a sense or a hint that they would relax their borders any time soon.”
In Victoria, the state’s deputy chief health officer, Prof Allen Cheng, said the overall number of cases were still decreasing, and that variability between days would be expected.
“The overall trajectory is that it is coming down,” he said.
The state recorded 90 new cases on Wednesday, 70 on Tuesday, 73 on Monday, 114 on Sunday, 94 on Saturday and 113 on Friday.
Cheng was also asked whether there had been a new plan for easing restrictions since the out-of-date plan was printed.
“I’ve probably seen dozens of plans since,” he said.
Andrews said that he would not announce any finalised plans before Sunday, as the modelling of virus case numbers took between 24 and 36 hours.
“There’s a whole lot of modelling that hasn’t been finished yet,” he said. “It’s not done in an hour. It takes 24, 36 hours. That’s how many different inputs there are. And we don’t just run it once. We run them multiple times.”
Source: The Guardian