The two most worrying Covid-19 cases in Victoria were found to be false alarms overnight, prompting speculation that the Melbourne lockdown may end sooner than expected.
These cases include a woman who was previously believed to have contracted the virus at the exposure site of the Metricon display house, and a man who was believed to have contracted the virus at the exposure site of the Brighton Beach Hotel.
The two men were initially believed to have contracted the virus through “short contact” with strangers, which intensified concerns about the spread of the virus faster than previous outbreaks.
Now they have been determined to be false positives, They have been removed from the number of outbreaks in the state, bringing the number of infections in the cluster to 61.
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The reclassification is good news for Victorians, and some experts say it may even lead to the lifting of the blockade in Melbourne.
Professor Tony Blakely, an epidemiologist at the University of Melbourne, told the media ABC This development may mean that the blockade will be lifted early next week, rather than this weekend as previously stated by the authorities.
He said: “The situation looks better now. Maybe we don’t need to lock down for another week, but we can’t predict it accurately.”
Professor Blakely said that as long as the number of daily infections in the state does not increase, then Melbourne can reopen.
However, he did point out that the health authorities still found other cases of “transitory transmission”, stating that the state “is undoubtedly dealing with viruses that are more contagious than previous outbreaks.”
There are still eight known cases of the virus spreading between people who have no direct contact.
Exposure locations where stranger transmission incidents occurred include:
• An example of the Telstra store in the Clarendon Centre, South Melbourne
• Two instances of JMD Grocers & Sweets, Epping
• Two examples of Broadway doctors at the reservoir
• Two instances of Woolworths in Epping North Shopping Center
• An example of Cragieburn Central Shopping Center
The case where the virus seems to spread through a very short contact time is considered to be one of the reasons for the extension of the lockdown period in Melbourne, and the authorities are worried about how quickly the virus will spread without intervention.
Although there are still many worrying cases, after announcing the false positive cases, Victorian opposition leader Michael O’Brien immediately called for an end to the “extremely destructive” blockade.
He wrote on Twitter: “If the basis for extending the lock-up period turns out to be wrong, it should end.” “It’s time for the Labour government to meet the Victorians frankly.”
Experts refute the “salarmist” claims of the new coronavirus
Many health experts dispute the language used by Victorian government officials to describe the Covid-19 strain (called a kappa variant) that caused the outbreak in the state.
This week, Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton described the mutation as an “absolute beast” and claimed on Wednesday that it belongs to the “measles contagious category.”
These claims are heavily controversial Some health experts say that the Victorian government has reverted to “warranty or doomsday” language.
Professor Greg Dole, an infectious disease expert at the University of New South Wales, said that it is wrong to say that this strain is as contagious as measles and that it spreads exponentially in Melbourne.
He said that this strain spreads “like other variants,” including through aerosols, with some exposure to short-term indoor environments. He said it has the potential to spread exponentially, just like all variants.
Professor James McCaw, a professor at the University of Melbourne, an infectious disease expert, and a member of the Australian Health Protection Main Committee, who advises the National Cabinet, said that the data he saw did not support this claim.
“There is no epidemiological evidence that this virus spreads faster,” he said Nine newspapers.
“There is no clear reason to believe that this virus is spreading in different ways. We need to be very cautious. We are on an absolute knife edge in Victoria, whether we control this situation quickly or develop it further. But I think the spread of alarmism in the community Or doomsday thinking is not helpful.”
$500 cash bonus for Victorians
On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Disaster subsidy of US$500 for eligible workers Suspended without pay in Victoria.
The funds will be applied to hot spots in Australia as determined by the Federal Government, and a lockdown of more than 7 days will be implemented to “avoid any unnecessary difficulties for Australians.”
For people who usually work 20 hours or more a week, they pay $500 a week, or those who work less than 20 hours a week pay $325.
Only workers 17 years of age or older who were employed before the lockdown are eligible, and they must be unable to work due to restrictions in their home or business premises.
If workers are already applying for other special pandemic sick leave, they will not be eligible, and they must self-declare that their current assets are less than $10,000.
The Prime Minister said: “We are talking about someone who can weather the storm next week.” “Who is usually in an economic environment where every dollar is important.”
“If those people have an independent way to support themselves for a week, then I think they will agree that seeking federal taxpayer assistance in such a short period of time is not something they think is reasonable.”
Previously, the Acting Governor of Victoria, James Merlino, repeatedly criticized the Morrison government for not taking enough measures to help Victorians during this period.
Earlier this week, Mr. Melino revealed that he had asked the Federal Government to provide support to Victorian workers during the lockdown “on many occasions”, but the “relentless answer” was no.
“Workers in Victoria should get more from the federal government, and I am very disappointed that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance answered in the negative.
“The Prime Minister and the Federal Minister of Finance say’no’ is a shame and should make every Victorian angry.”