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State dodged 20,000 new COVID cases a day: Deputy Chief Health Officer

Victoria was on course for a COVID-19 catastrophe of 20,000 new daily infections by mid-August when the state government imposed its stage three restriction in early July.

Acting Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said on Thursday that the rate of infections had been growing 10-fold every 10 days when the government stepped in to reimpose the lockdown and that without action, new cases might have reached 20,000 a day by August 12.

Acting Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng provides an update on Wednesday as Premier Daniel Andrews looks on.

Acting Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng provides an update on Wednesday as Premier Daniel Andrews looks on.Credit:Joe Armao

The Monash University epidemiologist said he hoped to see the present rate of daily infections, which reached a record high of 725 on Wednesday, begin to drop in the coming days as the mandated use of face masks and the stage four lockdown announced on Sunday begin to take effect.

Professor Cheng’s estimates follow research by the Burnet Institute released earlier this week that indicated 27,000 new cases of the killer virus might have occurred in July instead of the 8300 reported diagnoses, if the growth rate had continued unchanged.

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