COVID-19

Covid-19 cases surge in Victoria

The number is hundreds higher than 1007 on Thursday and almost 60 per cent higher than the 797 cases recorded on Tuesday.There are now 330 infected Victorians in hospital, with 57 active in intensive care and 30 on a ventilator. A total of 5842 vaccinations were administered across the state on Thursday along with 73,020 tests. There are 13,813 active cases across the state.Victorians woke to a new round of freedoms on Friday, including the scrapping of density limits for hospitality, concerts and events with double-dosed attendees.Premier Daniel Andrews revealed the host of changes on Thursday, saying “almost all” restrictions have now ended.“This is a fantastic day,” he told Sunrise.“Whether it’s 100,000 people at the MCG or a million people that will go to the tennis, just being able to visit family and friends without caps and limits and rules or stand up and have a beer at the pub.”More than 88 per cent of eligible Victorians are now fully vaccinated and 93 per cent have received at least one dose. Daniel Andrews slams Prime Minster Scott MorrisonMeanwhile, Premier Andrews blasted Scott Morrison, saying the Prime Minister in no place to offer lectures on coronavirus restrictions given the federal government’s troubled handling of the vaccine rollout.A furious Mr Andrews unloaded on the Prime Minister on Friday morning, saying Mr Morrison should consider his own track record before attacking states over their reopening plans. Mr Morrison earlier this week knocked a plan by Labor-led Queensland to ban unvaccinated people from venues once the 80 per cent double-dose mark was achieved next month. He said it was time for governments to stop “telling Australians what to do” now that vaccination rates were approaching the thresholds set out by national cabinet. Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles was among those to hit back, accusing Mr Morrison of cosying up to “a coalition of anti-vaxxers” and putting people’s health at risk for his own political ambition. Mr Andrews joined the fight during an interview on Sunrise on Friday morning.“I have not come on your program this morning to have an argument with the Prime Minster, but I will say this. He is right to say that we have been in people‘s lives,” Mr Andrews said. “Why do we have lockdowns? Because we did not have a vaccine. Who forgot to order the vaccine? It wasn‘t state premiers. I do not need to be lectured by Scott Morrison about these issues.” Victoria last night eased Covid restrictions, meaning the state now has more freedoms than NSW. Mr Andrews also said it “was a bit rich” for a prime minster from Sydney to be lecturing people about freedom. “We have done the hard yards because there was not a vaccine. If there had been a vaccine earlier, when the virus came from Sydney this year, we would not have needed to lockdown.”In another breakfast TV segment, Defence Minister Peter Dutton leapt to the assistance of the Prime Minister, backing his stance on states opening up. “I think the Prime Minister has made a perfectly sensible remark here,” the Queensland-based Mr Dutton told Nine’s Today show.“That is, the states in the plan they‘ve signed up to, the commitment they gave to the country is when we got to 80 per cent double vaccination rate we would go back to having to live with this.“I just think you cannot segregate a part of the community, even if you disagree with the decision they‘ve made and we are moving into a phase now where we have to live with this virus.”- with Alex Druce

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