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‘Things can change quickly’: Complacency warning as infections drop

There were no new community transmission infections in Victoria as of Friday morning, with the number of those cases stable at 135.

Twenty-seven people remain in hospital, including 11 people in intensive care.

Asked if Victoria’s tally might continue to trickle down to zero new cases, Professor Sutton said that could occur “any day now”.

He warned, however, that recording no new cases would not mean the virus was no longer a threat, as the potential for fresh outbreaks would remain.

“We are working on the presumption there will be no second wave,” Professor Brett Sutton said on Friday.

“But things can shift quickly. We can get a significant community outbreak out of a cluster like this.

“We are working tirelessly to keep case numbers suppressed, but the potential for waves into the future will be there as long as people are not following the restrictions we have in terms of physical distancing.

“If cases continue to be driven down it gives more option for the choices we can make in terms of restrictions in place.

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“But I don’t want to be giving out false hope because we don’t know what next week will bring or the following week. But I do know, if we can continue suppress transmissions – we’ve seen single figures in Australia this week – then that provides options across the board in terms of schools and other areas.”

Professor Sutton said a number of clusters remained under investigation by health authorities.

He stressed Victorians remained vulnerable to the virus, and even those who did not have pre-existing health conditions, could still become seriously ill.

“Across the world people remain vulnerable to coronavirus,” he said.

“We are going to have to have contained activities into the future in every country in the world. The potential for a late wave, or a second wave, for some countries will be there, unless we have physical distancing.”

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