Victoria has recorded two new locally acquired cases on Monday, as the state continues its cautious path out of a two-week lockdown.
Both infections were linked to existing clusters and had been in quarantine during their entire infectious period, Victorian Department of Health officials said.
The state’s active caseload has shed 27 infections, dropping to 134 active cases on Monday.
More than 21,417 tests were carried out in the past 24 hours, and 15,030 vaccine doses administered.
It comes after revelations just 10 Victorians who tested positive for Covid-19 during the state’s latest outbreak were vaccinated against the virus, highlighting the importance of the vaccine.
A snapshot of the 204 coronavirus cases in Victoria between July 12 and 28 showed only 10 were fully vaccinated against the virus, Victoria chief health officer Brett Sutton said.
“Of those 10 positive cases who were fully vaccinated, none of them were hospitalised, all were either completely without symptoms or had mild symptoms,” Professor Sutton said.
Victoria has recorded more than 200 cases linked to the two outbreaks that jumped the border from Sydney’s deadly Delta cluster – one from a team of Sydney removalists who transited through the state and the other from a family who returned to Melbourne’s north from a NSW red zone.
Health officials will front the media later on Monday.
SOUTHEAST QLD LOCKDOWN COULD BE EXTENDED
The Queensland government will make a decision on extending a lockdown of more than half the state’s population beyond three days as it tries to suppress an outbreak of the Delta strain of COVID-19.
Eleven local government areas in the state’s southeast were ordered into a three-day hard lockdown at 4pm on Saturday amid an outbreak of the Delta strain that has grown to 18 cases.
Of those, nine local virus cases were reported on Sunday with authorities warning testing numbers of 11,000 tests were only 25 per cent of what’s needed to get a clear picture of the spread.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said on Monday morning a decision on extending the lockdown would be made in the next 24 hours.
“It’s more likely to be made either late today or tomorrow morning,” he told ABC Radio.
“But again, we’ll be guided by what our contract tracers tell us during the day.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said lockdown lifting depended on how many new cases recorded later on Monday morning were infectious in the community.
“Two days is a long time when you talk about COVID, we’re talking hours now, not days,” she told ABC Radio.
“So we’ll see what the numbers are today, importantly, it’s not just about the numbers. It’s about how many people are in the community while they’re infectious.
“That’s why when you look at NSW numbers, you know that big number is always a concern, but if everybody is in quarantine when they become infectious there’s no risk to the community, it’s not spreading.
“But all nine cases that we announced yesterday had all been in the community while infectious.”
The lockdown is in place in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset and the Sunshine Coast.
People are only allowed to leave their homes for essential shopping, healthcare, essential work that cannot be done from home, care-giving, exercise within 10km of home or getting a COVID-19 test or vaccine.
Schools are also closed for all students, except those who are children of essential workers.
COVID-19 exposure sites have been listed in Bellbowrie, Chapel Hill, Jindalee, Indooroopilly, Ipswich, Kenmore, Moggill, Mount Gravatt, Oxley, Pullenvale, South Brisbane, Spring Hill, St Lucia, Sunnybank, Taringa, Toowong and Yeerongpilly and Wilston.
One case also flew to Rockhampton and worked at Rookweir while infectious last week.
Ms D’Ath said the patient zero in the west Brisbane cluster is believed to be one of two travellers who arrived on the same flight from Singapore in late June or early July before being transferred to hospitals on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast for treatment.
She said Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young believes one of those patients passed it onto a medical student who infected a 17-year-old Brisbane school girl she was tutoring.
“We’re seeing things happened with this delta variant that we just haven’t seen before, but it still means there’s a link out there in the community,” she said.
Treasurer Cameron Dick will announce $260 million in financial support for small and medium businesses hit by the health orders on Monday.
Payments of $5000 will be available for businesses hit by the current lockdown in southeast Queensland, lockdowns in other states and border closures.
“Queensland’s economy has recovered quickly from short sharp lockdowns, but we have seen the damage the Delta strain is causing in other jurisdictions,” Mr Dick said in a statement on Monday.
“Until now, our lockdowns have been months apart, which has given businesses time to recover.
“But we understand two lockdowns within a month presents a new challenge, which is why I am announcing this package today.”