Brett Sutton has delivered a blunt assessment of Victoria’s case numbers, saying it will take a week to see the impact of stage four restrictions.
Brett Sutton has delivered a blunt assessment of Victoria’s case numbers, saying it will take a week to see the impact of stage four restrictions.

Victorian numbers ‘not good enough’

Victoria's chief medical officer Brett Sutton has delivered a blunt assessment of Victoria's numbers, saying 400 to 500 new daily cases is "not good enough".

The state today recorded 466 COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths, with a man in his 30s among the dead.

Speaking to reporters Mr Sutton said that while there was "some stabilisation" in the numbers but Victoria is still recording similar cases to last week.

"We are at 400 to 500 cases each day, more or less the average over the last week," he said.

"That is not good enough, but it's a positive that we have averted an exponential increase through the last couple of weeks."

However Mr Sutton estimated lockdown measures had stopped new case numbers from being thousands higher.

Victorian Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling
Victorian Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling

"If we hadn't stabilised these numbers, we would have seen thousands of cases per day and there are estimates that we've averted 20,000 or more cases by virtue of the stage three restrictions," he said.
"But that hasn't been enough, it's been able to stabilise the numbers, but we can't have 500 cases every single day and the associated morbidity, hospitalisation, intensive care requirements and debts that are associated with that number every day."

It would take at least another week to see if stage four restrictions in Melbourne had reduced transmission.

"Stage four restrictions will make a difference but we won't see them for another week or more," Mr Sutton said.

"We can drive numbers down and we will drive numbers down."

Mr Sutton also said it was "tricky" to predict how Victoria's mandatory mask rules would impact case numbers.

It was critical that masks were being worn in high transmission areas. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie
It was critical that masks were being worn in high transmission areas. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie

"It can reduce the reproduction number anecdotally by 15 per cent," he said.

"If that happens in Victoria, that is a good thing, there are many more thousands of cases that have been averted then."

While it seemed most people had embraced face coverings "really well" it was crucial that social distancing was being followed in high transmission areas.

"You can see lots of people wearing masks in lots of settings but (are) people in the workplace, in high-risk transmission areas, at all times wearing those masks, are they taking masks off at tea time, at a break, and then sitting very close to workmates?" he said.

"The numbers will let us make some estimates about how well masks have been used but it's a critical thing."

Originally published as Victorian numbers 'not good enough'


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