Australia

Victoria records six deaths and 90 new coronavirus cases as state of emergency extended

Victoria has recorded 90 coronavirus new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours as Victorian parliament voted to extend the government’s emergency powers by six-months.

A further six Victorians have also lost their lives to the virus, health authorities said on Wednesday morning. 

The new fatalities, which are yet to be identified, take the state’s coronavirus death toll to 576. More details are expected to be announced during the Premier’s daily coronavirus briefing. 

Wednesday’s case numbers are higher than the previous two days figures in their 70s, the lowest single-day increases since early July, but community spread of the virus still appears to be slowing as Melbourne approaches the final scheduled week of Stage 4 restrictions.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he would reveal his plans for two roadmaps out of lockdown on Sunday, for regional and metropolitan Victoria.

Meanwhile, early on Wednesday morning, legislation was passed 20 votes to 19 to extend a state of emergency in Victoria by six-months, down from the one year previously sought by Mr Andrews.

The current state of emergency, which allows police and health authorities additional powers to enforce the public health order, is set to expire on 14 September.

The amended bill is specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and includes additional transparency measures, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

Victorian Greens upper house MP Samantha Ratnam returned from maternity leave to vote for the bill, bringing her two-month-old daughter along.

Reason Party MP Fiona Patten and Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick also voted in favour of the extension.

The Coalition opposed the bill, while former Labor MP Adem Somuyrek is abstaining from voting on any bills until a corruption watchdog probe is finalised over alleged branch stacking. 

With AAP

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am. During the curfew, people in Melbourne can only leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.

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Between 5am and 8pm, people in Melbourne can leave the home for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative. All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. 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. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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