Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has confirmed the grim news that the state has now recorded a staggering 288 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

That figure far exceeds the state’s previous 24-hour high water mark of 191 cases which was recorded this past Tuesday. That also far exceeds the highest single-day total for any Australian jurisdiction throughout the entire pandemic thus far, eclipsing the mark set by NSW on March 28th with 212 cases.

The number now also means Victoria has recorded more cases of coronavirus than any other state or territory, with 3,397 in total.

Of the new cases, 26 are connected to known outbreaks, and a further 262 remain under investigation by health officials. Those new cases came on the back of 37,588 tests being conducted yesterday, which is also a new single-day record.

Addressing media a short time ago, Premier Dan Andrews also encouraged the wearing of masks in hot spots within Metropolitan Melbourne, particularly in areas where social distancing is not possible.

“It’s a small thing, but our request, not an obligation, but our request is that if you are out in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire for a lawful purpose and you don’t think you will be able to maintain the 1.5 metre distance in a cab, in an Uber, on public transport, maybe at the shopping centre if things were quite busy, then we would ask that you wear a mask,” the Premier stated.

It was always going to get worse before it got better. A way to bring stability to the numbers – arguably the only way to bring stability to the numbers is for all of us to stay at home, except for the permitted reasons to leave and then only to leave when you need to.” 

It is not an invitation to go shopping for things that you don’t need, to be doing things that you really don’t need to do. That is why the rules are there, to try to do everything we can to limit the spread of this virus. I don’t want our city shut down for a moment longer than it needs to be. If people follow the rules, then we have a much greater chance of being able to bring stability to the numbers.”

Officials had reportedly anticipated case numbers to spike as results from a massive testing blitz across Melbourne roll in. The city’s current Stage 3 lockdowns, which were brought into effect on Wednesday night, will take some time before they start having an impact on overall case numbers.

Image: Getty Images / Asanka Ratnayake