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Covid 19 coronavirus: What experts say will happen next in Victoria

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Australia sends emergency medical teams to coronavirus-ravaged nursing homes

Queensland barred anyone from Sydney from entering the state and locked down suburbs south of its capital, Brisbane, on Wednesday after two young women tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Melbourne and not quarantining.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday said the latest fatalities were three men and three women in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s, and two men aged in their 90s.

"But we have seen a significant jump in regional communities".

Melbourne and neighboring Mitchell Shire are halfway through a six-week shutdown, which Andrews said could be extended. Health authorities had expected the infection rate would have plateaued by now.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

"From Sunday, August 2 at 11:59pm, a face covering will be mandatory whenever you leave home - and wherever you live", he said.

Melbourne is an increasingly alarming anomaly in Australia, which has all but eliminated community transmission elsewhere.

Victoria recorded 723 new coronavirus cases and 13 more deaths on Thursday. Victoria also set a daily record of 13 deaths, 10 of them in the beleaguered aged care sector.

"This is one of the biggest challenges our state has faced".

NSW recorded 18 new cases, with just two from returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The Andrews Government's COVID-19 failures continue to mount.

"The communication has been horrific".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday labelled reports of neglect in Victorian aged care facilities as "distressing", admitting there had been "significant failings" in some homes.

"These numbers today are a reflection of increased cases in aged care", Andrews said, referring to new infections in Melbourne's nursing homes.

Back in March, Victoria state recorded fewer than 100 cases per day but since early July, it has been recording hundreds.

Morrison would not rule out more pandemic restrictions to drive down new infections, but doubted that any would extend beyond Victoria.

While the jump in coronavirus case numbers was disappointing, Prof Bennett said it was important for people not to give up wearing masks or maintaining social distance.

"There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the restrictions", Jason Schram, mayor of Colac, which is covered by the new Geelong restrictions, told Melbourne Radio 3AW.

"These are people who deliberately went about doing the right thing".

"With existing outbreaks and the potential new clusters, I knew there was potential on any given day we might see a rise in numbers".

"What we can't handle is a whole scale deterioration of the economy where people lose their livelihoods, lose their jobs and quite frankly, some people might take their lives as a result of that".

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