Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has today asserted that further restrictions amid the current coronavirus outbreak are needed, despite not making any announcements in today’s press conference.
After what has been a record-breaking (not a good thing) week with 627 cases yesterday and 723 the day before, the number dropped significantly to 397 confirmed cases today. However, the challenge is far from over with a whopping 49 cases that authorities “simply cannot trace back.”
“49 doesn’t seem a very large number but I just say to all Victorians that 49 where you can’t be certain how they got it, that can mean there are many more than 49 out there that have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, they can be at the height of their infectivity, and be infecting other people unbeknownst to them,” Andrews said.
“That is the real challenge here. It is a silent enemy, it is a very cunning enemy as well. But particularly those community transmission cases are of greatest concern to us.”
Following the large number in untraceable cases, Andrews essentially said that the conversation of whether or not further restrictions are needed is currently underway.
“We are giving due consideration to a whole range of different options, when I am in a position to announce decisions I will do that,” he explained.
“That is why we find ourselves in a position to evaluate these things and we can’t rule out further steps being taken, they are being taken because that is what is necessary.”
Although the call for Victoria (or at least Melbourne/Mitchell Shire) has been ongoing for weeks now, Andrews explained that actually enforcing this is no easy task. Basically, a Stage 4 restriction as we’re expecting it, will almost-definitely have a detrimental impact on local businesses and individuals, which explains why the government is yet to pull the trigger.
“I’m trying to be as frank as I can be … There is a lot of work going on because this is not easy,” he said.
“If you take further steps you need to think it through properly and that changes to the rules will deliver the desired outcomes and that is a circuit breaker to try and pull this up.”
As you’d likely expect, shutting down a vast majority of the state has massive ramifications for the economy, which is already not in a good place.
“It is not a tap you can just turn on or off and they are not decisions that would be taken lightly because there are significant costs. Even minor changes have a significant cost,” Andrews said, before explaining that the numbers are reaching a point where there’s not really an alternative option.
“But the numbers are too high and there is a growing case for us to do more. What we may be doing now may not be enough when you consider that it has brought us stability.
The news comes after Nine News reported that Dan Andrews and Scott Morrison were on a call on Thursday night, in which they allegedly discussed the possibility of introducing tighter restrictions, much like what we saw in New Zealand.
It’s currently unclear what a further lockdown would entail specifically, so it’s not the time to start a fight in the toilet paper aisle of your local Coles or Woolies in an attempt to panic-buy the last roll of Kleenex.
At this point, we simply cannot stress this enough: stay home, wash your hands, wear your mask and get tested as soon as you show symptoms (however mild). This isn’t the time for conspiracy theories and trying to exercise your ~freedom~, it’s the time to buckle down and do the right thing.