Covid Victoria: 603 new cases; business groups slam Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown
Another Victorian died overnight as the state’s outbreak worsened again. Meanwhile, industry groups say the slow exit from the lockdown will threaten the viability of businesses, even as restrictions start to ease.
Victoria has recorded 603 cases of Covid overnight, along with one more death, as the state’s viral crisis escalates.
On Monday, more than 40,800 Victorians showed up for a dose of the Covid vaccine.
Currently, 72.6% of eligible Victorians have received a dose of the jab, while 44.1% are double-pricked.
There are currently 6,000 active cases across the state.
Key industry groups have denounced Victoria’s roadmap, saying they have remained blinded by the state’s conservative path to breaking out of lockdown.
Industry bodies are demanding more consultation before any changes to the plan and have accused the state government and the Department of Health of inadequate engagement.
“They kept their cards very close to their chest,” said Victorian Tourism Industry Council chief Felicia Mariani. “I don’t know of any industry association that was consulted. “
The Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Restaurant and Catering Australia each submitted detailed proposals ahead of the roadmap’s release on Sunday.
Their proposals were not incorporated into the final plan. Restaurant and foodservice chief Wes Lambert said it appeared the government had “completely ignored” his proposal.
“The Victorian government usually does consultations after the information is released rather than before,” he said. “We had high-level discussions based on our submission, so we were extremely disappointed that none of our suggestions were incorporated into the final plan.”
A series of business consultation roundtables took place on Monday.
Simon Thewlis, of Save Victorian Events, said the events sector has been ignored. “There was no consultation with us,” he said. “Trade events that are worth more than $ 12 billion a year are not even listed as an item in the restriction table.”
Mr Thewlis said much of the industry remains on a waiting pattern with critical details missing from the plan.
Industry groups say the slow exit from the lockdown will threaten the viability of companies even if restrictions start to ease. In particular, they said exterior retail requirements and strict density limits will make opening nearly impossible.
Small Business Australia executive director Bill Lang said the Andrews government’s lack of consultation with industry groups had been a hallmark of the pandemic.
“They were so focused on the disease that they weren’t too interested in discussing the results of their policies which have led small business families to the forefront both financially and emotionally,” he said. declared.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, who will soon release an alternative roadmap, has expressed concerns about the slow opening. “Just having a slow and comprehensive opening, while other states like NSW find ways to do it faster, is deeply concerning,” he said.
The Prime Minister defended the plan and said it could be accelerated.
“If New South Wales were great after, say, three or four weeks, after we caught up, we would have a very serious discussion,” he said. “But we were sitting down and working on all of these things – it’s a dynamic document.”
DELAY IN EXHIBITION SITES
A series of exhibition sites in the Bass Coast region have yet to filter through the Department of Health website as not all Tier 2 sites are tracked.
Local exhibit sites – including Bunnings in Wonthaggi, Blue Gum Garden Center in Newhaven, and Van Steensel Timbers in Grantville – were posted on the Bass Coast Health Facebook page on Saturday.
But the information still did not appear on the official list of exhibition sites a few days later.
Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said Monday that health authorities were aware of three positive cases in the Bass Coast region from the same household.
He said there were a “relatively small number” of exposure sites linked to the cases.
“We understand the source of acquisition, which is a building site outside of this whole area,” he said.
“I think we’re comfortable with what’s going on there, but I’m happy to follow.”
It comes as Victoria reported 567 new local infections on Monday, the highest daily number of cases this year.
Almost 90% of the cases have been detected in the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne, with 45 in the southeast and 12 in the eastern suburbs.
Fourteen cases were found in the Victoria area, including five in Ballarat, three in the Mitchell Shire and one in southern Gippsland.
No new cases have been detected in the now locked region of Geelong and Surf Coast, but two have been recorded near Moorabool.
Mr Weimar said 56% of Monday’s cases were found in households of known cases.
“This attack rate in households continues to be very high,” he said.
A woman in her 60s from Moreland has died from the virus. More than 200 Victorians – including 59 in intensive care and 40 on a ventilator – are hospitalized.
QUEENSCLIFFE REACHES JAB JAB
Queenscliffe became the first municipality in Australia to meet the 80% double-dose vaccination target.
And 80 percent of eligible residents in 31 of the state’s 79 municipalities have now received at least one injection of Covid.
As of Monday, Victorian pharmacies began receiving supplies of Moderna vaccine, offering a third option for those who had not yet been vaccinated.
More than 300,000 doses are expected to arrive in Victoria this month, with 440 pharmacies administering Moderna starting this week and 281 more joining the rollout afterwards.
The mRNA vaccine, similar to that from Pfizer, will be used to inoculate people aged 12 to 59 years.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews on Monday urged the Victorians to take any vaccine available to them as he suggested there could be problems with deliveries from Pfizer next month.
“I don’t know how big the problem is, but there is a problem with Pfizer’s vaccine supply in October,” Andrews said. “Don’t wait and wait for something that might not happen … AstraZeneca is available now.”
The Herald Sun believes an issue was raised at Friday’s national cabinet meeting over a theft with Pfizer supplies, but it was resolved this weekend by federal officials.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australia would receive more doses of mRNA in October than in September and that there were no issues with deliveries from Pfizer.
Mr Hunt said each state would receive the promised allocation and all deliveries were expected on time and in full.
A spokeswoman for Pfizer also confirmed that the company remains “on track to deliver the total committed doses” to Australia for the remainder of the year.
Depending on the day the planes land, Australia is expected to receive nine million doses of Pfizer in September and October, plus two million doses of Moderna this month and three million next month.
State Pharmacy Guild President Anthony Tassone said Moderna’s arrival marked another “tool in our kit to fight the Covid-19 virus” as he also encouraged the Victorians to take the lead. first available.
“This is another way of achieving our goals for the roadmap that was set (Sunday),” Tassone said.
“It can sometimes feel like, in this pandemic, that we are in a spiral plane and free fall towards earth.
“When I’m looking for the life jacket under my seat, I don’t prefer red or yellow. I understand what there is.
“When the oxygen mask comes off, I don’t want the blue or green tube, I take what’s there. The best vaccine you can get is the one you can get today. “
SITES TO BE CLOSED FOR TWO WEEKS
Victoria’s construction industry will shut down for two weeks in what the government is calling a “reset”.
The widespread closure, which begins at midnight Monday, applies to yards in Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, Mitchell Shire and the Surf Coast.
The state government said the shutdown was necessary to reduce movement, reduce transmission and allow industry to adjust to the new requirements.
It comes after wild scenes erupted outside the municipal CFMEU office where around 500 protesters turned on the union, furious that it had not done more to oppose mandatory vaccination rules to go into effect on Thursday. .
Read the full story here.
PFIZER VACCINE “SAFE FOR CHILDREN AGED 5-11”
Pfizer has announced that its Covid vaccine works for children between the ages of 5 and 11, and that it will seek US clearance for this age group soon – a key step towards the start of vaccinations for young children.
The vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is already available to anyone 12 years of age and older. But with children now back to school in the United States and the highly contagious Delta variant causing a huge increase in pediatric infections, many parents are eagerly awaiting vaccinations for their youngest children, reports The New York Post.
Read the full story here.
BARNABY BLASTS ANTI-VAXXERS: “NOT OUR PROBLEM”
Unvaccinated Australians have been told that if they choose not to receive a vaccine, they will not be the government’s problem when the country reopens.
Speaking in Canberra on Monday, Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said Australia must exit its current state of lockdown.
“Unfortunately, we can’t wait for those who decide not to get the vaccine. By the end of October, you will have more vaccines than people wanting to be vaccinated, ”Joyce said.
Read the full story here.