A man in his 80s has died in Victoria overnight after contracting COVID-19, as the state recorded 20 new cases.
Wednesday is the eighth straight day Victoria has recorded new cases in double digits. The state’s total now stands at 1884 while the death toll is 20.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton said the family of the man has asked that no further information be made public.
“I’d like to respect that,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“It does point to the fact that when we get additional cases, there will be a risk of people dying or be at risk of further cases being hospitalised and going to intensive care.
“That’s why we need to get on top of numbers in general.”
Sutton added that eight of the most recent 20 COVID cases are the result of community transmission.
From today there will be “an army” of Victorian health professionals door knocking homes to further educate households on the dangers of COVID, with a focus on homes where English may be a second language.
When asked if the government let non-English speaking communities fall through the cracks on COVID messaging, Sutton said “it’s a complex process.”
“We’re meeting with a whole number of ethnic community representatives and we have always advocated to engage with our intelligence team around where are our cases, what communities do they represent and to use all mechanisms to reach into them,” he said.
“It is not a simple case of pamphlets and campaign materials and banners to reach into communities. You do need that community leadership, community champions.”
“There are people who use social media from their country of origin or amongst their work of friends as their primary source of information. A lot of that is information. A lot of it tells them that it’s all rubbish messaging from Government.”
Victoria’s Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said more drive-thru testing would be set up in Victoria this week while Premier Daniel Andrews said a state-wide lockdown could be reintroduced to curb the new high numbers.
“It doesn’t matter how many people are doing the wrong thing – everybody, everybody will pay the price if we get to a point where restrictions either localised or across the state need to be re-introduced,” he told media on Tuesday.
Addressing households who haven’t been obeying the five-guest rule, he said, “We have seen many families, large families, who have gathered in numbers beyond the rules.
“That is just not on. It is not acceptable. Particularly if anybody in those family groupings has even mild symptoms – let alone if anybody in those family groupings has been told to quarantine as a close contact, or even a positive case.
More than 472,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.
More to come.