Vic premier urges compliance as cases rise

By AAP Newswire

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has urged residents not to search for lockdown loopholes as the state recorded its sixth consecutive day of a triple-digit rise in coronavirus cases.

A man in his 90s died overnight and 216 more cases were recorded on Saturday, down from a record 288 cases the day before.

"What I'm asking Victorians to do is not to spend time trying to find ways to get around the rules but instead to follow them," Mr Andrews said on Saturday.

Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are under stage three restrictions, confining people to their homes except for essential supplies, study, work and local exercise.

Mobility data of metropolitan Melbourne over the past few days showing many were obeying restrictions has indicated numbers could be about to plateau, the chief health officer said.

"It's in the next three to five days that it should really be having an effect," Professor Brett Sutton said.

But there was no guarantee of such immediate results, given the "pressure of infection" in the community and on healthcare workers on the front line, Prof Sutton added.

Single cases are still being recorded among staff in aged care facilities, and Victoria has had more aged care outbreaks than any other state, but the response has meant none have been substantial, he said.

Of the 216 new cases announced on Saturday, 180 are under investigation and 30 have been linked to known outbreaks.

Known outbreaks include 138 cases linked to the North Melbourne and Flemington public housing towers, which have some degree of crossover with 134 cases linked to Al-Taqwa College.

Ten cases are linked to Menarock Aged Care in Essendon, seven are linked to Glendale Aged Care Facility in Werribee and another seven to the distribution centre in Truganina.

Smaller clusters of five or less have been identified at Cenvic Construction Riverina Apartments in Footscray, Debney Meadows Primary School, Somerville Meats Retail Services in Tottenham, PM Fresh facility in Broadmeadows and Ilim College.

Australia is still pursuing a strategy of suppressing rather than eliminating the virus, but Prof Sutton hopes both could be achieved.

"(Elimination) is not the national decision at the moment.... I would hope that we don't close ourselves off to a reevaluation and reappraisal of what's feasible, and what the pros and cons are," Prof Sutton said.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said new testing facilities are being opened across the lockdown area, with the aim being for every person in Melbourne or Mitchell Shire to have a site within 10km of their home.

Around 20,000 to 25,000 Victorians are being tested daily and capacity in the state's pathology labs has increased to 25,000 tests a day.

The standard wait time to receive a test result is two to three days.

Interstate labs are also being used to test Victorian samples.

The premier said he had accepted all offers of support from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Defence force staff have been deployed at checkpoints and more are on their way, he said.

Mr Andrews said people were noticeably taking on board the recommendation to wear masks in public.