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New cases could drop below 100 over weekend – Sutton

Those who lost their lives include a man in his 70s, two women in their 80s, and five women and three men in their 90s.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the case numbers were heading in the right direction and he expected the number of new daily cases could dip below 100 as soon as the weekend.

“It’s not gotten below 100 yet, I do expect that to happen, if not over the weekend, then by next week, if trends continue. We obviously have to hold the course here,” he said.

“I was speaking to a woman in the Latrobe Valley yesterday and she summed it up for me, she said we are all doing it very hard, but when we are doing the right thing, numbers go down.

“When we are not doing the right thing, numbers go up. It really is as simple as that.”

Mr Andrews said 513 people were in hospital, including 29 people in intensive care and 17 on a ventilator.

Another 46 cases have no known source, and there are 446 active cases in healthcare workers – up 134 as a result of reclassification.

A total of 3141 cases are still active in Victoria, 187 of which are in the regions.

“That is obviously a much better position than we were in a few weeks ago when we had more than 500 active cases across regional Victoria. I want to thank regional Victoria for following the rules, coming and getting tested,” Mr Andrews said.

There were 19,863 tests processed yesterday, right on Victoria’s goal of 20,000 a day.

The average turn-around time for a coronavirus test was now less than one day, he said.

Numbers in Melbourne appear to have plateaued.

Numbers in Melbourne appear to have plateaued.Credit:Getty

Mr Andrews said there was encouraging news out of regional Victoria, where stage three restrictions are in place.

There were now 65 active cases in Geelong after two new cases were recorded overnight and 15 active cases in Ballarat where no new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, he said.

Meanwhile, Professor Michael McCarthy from the University of Melbourne has said Victoria could record fewer than 100 daily COVID-19 cases in coming days.

He said he expects cases to be around 70 a day by next Friday, with an average of around 600 cases in total for the coming week. “That number is a bit of a guess,” Professor McCarthy told radio station 3AW.

He said he hopes that Victoria will be “well and truly” recording fewer than 50 cases a day by the end of stage four lockdown on September 13.

However, Professor McCarthy said it will be hard to get into single digits, because the exponential decline of the virus is much slower than exponential growth.

“It’s very unfair isn’t it … things get bad quickly, but things don’t get good as fast,” Professor McCarthy said.

“Once we get to those small numbers it’s going to be very hard to get larger declines.”

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