Three weeks into Melbourne’s second round of coronavirus lockdowns, some medical experts and epidemiologists warn those restrictions may stick around for longer than six weeks.
Speaking to the ABC, University of Melbourne epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely said he was “98 per cent” certain the state won’t emerge from its ongoing restrictions on August 19, the lockdown-lifting date first proposed by the State Government.
Professor Blakely told the national broadcaster he was “floored” by yesterday’s news that Victoria tallied a record 723 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day.
And, in prior comments made to News.com.au, Professor Blakely said “we will be lucky if there is only a two-week extension” on those lockdowns.
Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone expressed a similar view, telling the ABC there’s a slim chance of restrictions easing over the next few weeks.
As it stands, the lockdowns are still locked in until August 19 at the earliest.
Yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that certain restrictions had actually extended out of the metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire areas, with all Victorian residents required to wear face coverings from midnight on Sunday.
Folks in six local government regions near Geelong are also banned from welcoming visitors into their home.
But Andrews has stopped short of lifting the ongoing Stage 3 restrictions into the Stage 4 bracket, saying Victoria’s current situation is effectively Stage 4 regardless.
“We’re clearly a long way from where we wanted to be,” Andrews said in a statement.
“As always, I do want to thank every single Victorian who is doing the right thing.”
Stay safe out there, folks.Image: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images