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Another 439 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths in Victoria

Victoria has recorded 439 new cases of coronavirus and 11 more deaths.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the deaths on Tuesday, bringing the state’s toll from COVID-19 to 147 and the national toll to 232.

All of the 11 deaths are linked to outbreaks in aged care facilities.

The rising death toll comes as Victoria settles into a new stage four lockdown in Melbourne, bringing with it expensive fines for people not self-isolating.

Mr Andrews on Tuesday announced a coronavirus isolation crackdown with more police, Defence and Health department personnel.

Infected people caught breaching the rules for a second time will be slapped with a $4957 on the spot fine, which will grow to $20,000 if the matter goes to court.

An additional 250 police, 500 ADF and 300 health staff will monitor the compliance.

“That team is growing substantially and that means every single positive case will be door-knocked multiple times, random and repeated doorknocks,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

ADF personnel and Victorian police officers are seen patrolling the Tan walking track in Melbourne.
Camera IconADF personnel and Victorian police officers are seen patrolling the Tan walking track in Melbourne. Credit: DANIEL POCKETT/AAPIMAGE

It comes after new research revealed the state’s earlier stage three restrictions in Melbourne potentially saved the lives of hundreds of people.

Research from the Burnet Institute, published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Tuesday, found the state’s response to the second wave of COVID-19 averted 9000 to 37,000 cases between July 2 and 30.

Based on the World Health Organisation’s mortality rate of 3.4 per cent, the restrictions potentially saved 1258 lives.

Among stage three restrictions was the lockdown of 12 hotspot postcodes, the complete quarantine of several public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne and the closure of state borders in early July.

A six-week lockdown was announced for residents of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from July 9, then the compulsory use of masks in public settings was introduced.

Researchers said the reproduction rate of the virus before lockdown was 1.75.

Last week, Mr Andrews said that number was hovering at about 1.0.

Under the latest restrictions, residents of metropolitan Melbourne must follow an 8pm-5am curfew and can’t travel more than 5km from home for shopping or exercise.

Regional Victoria is now moving to stage three restrictions, with restaurants, cafes, bars and gyms to shut from midnight on Wednesday.

A six-week lockdown was announced for residents of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from July 9, then the compulsory use of masks in public settings was introduced.
Camera IconA six-week lockdown was announced for residents of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from July 9, then the compulsory use of masks in public settings was introduced. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

It comes as another three people have been caught trying to dodge quarantine in Queensland after travelling to a Melbourne coronavirus hotspot over the weekend.

The trio failed to declare they had been to the hot spot when they crossed into the state by road at Coolangatta, near the NSW border, on Sunday after making their way from Victoria.

The men, from Logan south of Brisbane, are currently in hotel quarantine and awaiting their COVID-19 test results.

Queensland state Disaster Co-ordinator and Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the men were carrying passes stating they had not been to a hotspot.

“One of those persons has been tested, yesterday, which exposed they had been in the Victorian area.”

All three have been issued with court notices and investigations are ongoing.

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