Victoria announces 403 new cases, 5 deaths and new supplement payment

Mask-wearing people in front of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne earlier today

They have gone to work.

Most people seen by AFP on the quiet streets of Melbourne's city centre wore masks in the second week of a six-week local lockdown.

Neighboring New South Wales state also recorded 16 new cases, and Queensland 1, helping push the national tally past 500 and breaking the previous record of 469 cases set on March 28 during the height of the first outbreak. Worryingly, more than half the people who tested positive for the virus in Victoria between July 7 and July 21, or more than 2,000 people, did not isolate, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said. They have gone to work.

'And a six-week shutdown will not be for six weeks. Police have handed out hundreds of fines to people flouting the lockdown, under which they are supposed to stay home except for essential work, education, care or grocery shopping.

The state's leader said the lockdown restrictions had helped stabilise infection numbers, but the next step was driving them down.

Brett Sutton, Victoria's chief health officer, warned cases could rise further to 500 to 600 per day.

Andrews has reported that 6,739 of Corona have been exposed so far in Victoria.

Victorian workers who can not afford to take time off while waiting for a Covid-19 test result will now be eligible for a $300 hardship payment, as the state announced a further 403 infections - its third worst day yet - and five deaths.

Though the death rate in Australia has been lower than that of many of its rich-world peers, authorities and policymakers are increasingly anxious about the spread of the virulent disease in Melbourne. 'Irrespective of the issue, we need to follow the health advice.

"We do have a number of people who are not picking up the phone, we do have a number of people - it's a smaller number - who when they do pick up the phone are not particularly interested in being involved in that process, we've got some unique and innovative ways to deal with that", he said.