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Coronavirus disaster: Victoria records 114 COVID instances, 11 deaths

Victoria has recorded 114 new coronavirus cases and 11 more deaths.

The figures, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday, bring the State’s toll from the virus to 524 and the national total to 611.

It follows 94 new cases on Saturday, which was the first day since July 5 that cases were in the double digits.

“Absolutely, this strategy is working,” Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Saturday.

“We’ve all just got to find a way to stay the course.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
Camera IconVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Credit: Daniel Pockett

Melburnians are subject to another fortnight of strict stage four restrictions including an 8pm to 5am curfew and Mr Andrews said the benefits from the first four weeks are starting to show.

Regional Victorians are under slightly less strict stage three restrictions for the same period.

Mr Andrews was cautious about rushing to a return to normal, saying the path back to normality will be based on “science and data and evidence”.

One of the first issues to be addressed when restrictions ease could be people living alone who have gone weeks with little human interaction.

“We want to try and support them and indeed every Victorian, with a clear, dedicated, logical but also meaningful plan for opening up, but it is just a little too early,” Mr Andrews said.

Restrictions across Melbourne are due to expire on September 13 but will be reduced gradually rather than removed completely.

Health officials have indicated that recommendations for face masks could remain in place for several more months.

Meanwhile, a potential solution to the political impasse on the government’s desire to extend the state of emergency beyond September 13 could be close.

Police issued 195 fines over the 24 hours to Saturday morning.
Camera IconPolice issued 195 fines over the 24 hours to Saturday morning. Credit: NCA NewsWire/David Crosling

Victorian upper house MP Fiona Patten said on Saturday she can get the support to make a deal with the government for a sixth-month extension of the state of emergency.

The leader of the Reason Party said in a statement on Saturday that in her proposal, the government would get an extension of powers enabling it to write and pass COVID-19-specific laws until March, not the 12 months it is after.

The government would have to brief minor parties and independents once every month, justifying the continuation of the state of emergency.

If the government wants to extend the powers beyond March, it will have to come back to parliament to argue for it again.

“This is a fair arrangement that I believe could gain support of several of my colleagues and pass the parliament – only by a small margin though,” Ms Patten said.

A spokesman for Premier Daniel Andrews said on Saturday evening no deal had been struck.

Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien wants the parliament to sit every month during the state of emergency to determine whether the powers are justified.

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