Victoria reported 5 new local cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. One of these cases was a health worker in a Melbourne aged care facility where not all of the residents have been vaccinated.
These new cases of infections on the third day of the lockdown bring the total to 40 in this new cluster which started with a returning overseas traveler who tested positive after leaving the quarantine hotel where they were being held.
James Merlino, Victoria’s acting premier said at a public briefing that 70% of the traveller’s close contact have tested negative for the virus.
“But it is true to say that this remains a day-by-day proposition,” Merlino said during the briefing.
However, the origin of the case at the aged care facility is unknown, according to health authorities, and residents have now been confined to their rooms for preventative measures. More than a third of the staff and half the residents have been vaccinated in said facility.
Merlino also announced on Sunday that a A$250 million state support package will be allocated for 90,000 business affected by the lockdown while he also criticized the federal government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the lack of help.
“We asked multiple times, multiple times, for the federal government to support workers during this period and the unrelenting answer has been ‘No’,” Merlino told Reuters.
This latest outbreak has spurred people to get vaccinated in Victoria following several weeks of slow inoculation due to the public’s hesitancy and the country’s success in virtually eliminating the virus.
Victoria’s Labor government also criticized Morrison’s federal government for the slow national roll-out saying that a more successful programme and better quarantine facilities could have prevented the need for another lockdown.
Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Michael McCormack defended the national government on Sky News television saying “It is not a race, it has to be systematic,”.