'Record number' of patients expected
Hospitals in Victoria are preparing for a "record number" of patients, as 28 new coronavirus cases were confirmed overnight.
The new cases bring the state's total to 149.
Premier Daniel Andrews has warned people not to go outside if they are feeling unwell, adding that the COVID-19 is "not a normal virus".
He said the state government was providing an additional $437 million funding to its hospital system "to deal with the inevitable peak in cases of COVID-19".
"(It) will mean extra beds open, there will be more equipment, there will be additional gloves and masks and gowns," Mr Andrews said, adding space would be opened for COVID-19 patients at private hospitals including Baxter House in Geelong and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said there would be an additional 84 beds at Peter MacCallum and 45 beds in Bendigo, on top of 140 new beds already announced at Casey Hospital.
"(We) anticipate 45,000 additional emergency department presentations, 5000 additional hospital admissions and 2000 additional admissions to intensive care units, and that's just for the three-month period," she said.
"This is estimated for the peak period of 12 weeks and we'll be making further announcements as we go forward around what we anticipate to be the demand on our hospital system."
Victoria would also buy more ventilators, oxygen machines, dialysis machines and monitors, "which effectively triples our intensive care unit capacity", Ms Mikakos said.
As part of the response, Mr Daniels said there would be a "number of spaces that will be open for the first time, or, indeed, reopen after having not been part of our public hospital system for quite some time".
Ms Mikakos said they would also call on retired doctors and medical students to help the public health team with tracing cases.
"From the 57 people that they have currently, they'll be going up to 230 people. That's a significant boost to that public health team," she said. "We'll be calling on people like retired doctors, medical students and others to help us at this critical time."