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Victoria adds 1365 instances, nine deaths

Victoria has added 1365 infections to its COVID-19 caseload and recorded a further nine virus-related deaths.

The State continues to manage almost 14,400 active coronavirus cases. There are 288 virus patients in Victorian hospitals, 44 of them in intensive care and 20 requiring ventilation.

Health authorities say virus testers managed to process 67,545 results in the 24 hours to Friday evening.

Victoria is 91 per cent fully vaccinated for everyone aged 12 or older.

Meanwhile, anti-vaxxers in search of jab exemptions are increasingly abusing Victorian doctors, as protesters vow to rally again despite the state’s pandemic laws passing parliament.

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners chair Anita Munoz says she is aware of “disturbing incidents of abusive and threatening behaviour” from people ineligible for an exemption.

The professional body says anti-vaccine groups have been encouraging people to seek exemptions on grounds that are not listed as exempt by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s expanded guidance.

“I am very concerned about the level of abuse that general practice teams in Victoria are seeing from people seeking vaccine exemptions when they are not eligible,” Dr Munoz said on Friday.

“It is a small minority, and most people are doing the right thing. However, we do need to deal with this issue urgently, we can’t simply ignore it.”

Karen Price, president of the RACGP, said only a “very small number of people” are ineligible for a vaccine due to “contraindications”.

“For those people who have a contraindication to one vaccine, other vaccine options are available,” she said.

“I encourage people who are concerned about getting the jab to book an appointment to talk to their GP.”

Protesters against vaccine mandates and the state’s incoming pandemic laws packed up from outside Victorian parliament on Friday after the controversial bill passed both houses on Thursday.

It makes Victoria the first state in Australia with pandemic-specific laws and the legislation will now go to Governor Linda Dessau for royal assent before replacing the state of emergency on December 16.

Some protesters have relocated to Government House, the official residence of Ms Dessau, with a rally still planned in Melbourne’s city centre on Saturday.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp says the recurring protests are hurting traders.

“These protests mean ongoing hardship,” she told reporters on Friday.

“That’s why we’re really pleased that the pandemic bill has been resolved in the Victorian parliament this week so that we can move on.”

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