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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews dampens hopes of a eased restrictions as 14 new cases announced

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has tempered expectations of taking big steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne next week, as the tail of the state’s second wave of infections persists.

Mr Andrews called on people not to lose hope and become despondent or to pretend that the fight against the second wave was over.

“We’re very close, but we haven’t quite achieved that yet,” he said.

“We always want these numbers lower faster, we’ve just got to be as stubborn as this virus. We will beat this second wave, but we’ve got to do it properly.”

Despite lowering expectations, the premier said Melburnians could be assured that some restrictions would be lifted, even if the changes would not be as significant as those hoped for.

Melbourne is due to join regional Victoria at the third stage of the plan on October 19 if it can meet the threshold of an average of fewer than five cases and less than five mystery cases in the preceding fortnight.

We will beat this second wave, but we’ve got to do it properly

That was planned to remove restrictions on people leaving their homes, allow for public gatherings of up to 10 and allow hospitality and retail stores to increase trading.

Victoria reported 14 new cases on Saturday and the third consecutive day with no deaths.

The state’s latest 14-day rolling case average across Melbourne is 9.5 and 0.4 in regional Victoria.

Australia’s death toll stands at 897, with 809 of those in Victoria.

The number of active infections is now 192 with 21 one of those in hospital and only one in intensive care.

A COVID-19 outbreak at Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne's east continues to grow.
Camera IconA COVID-19 outbreak at Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne’s east continues to grow. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

Saturday’s media briefing was the premier’s 100th consecutive daily update on the pandemic

The first day of his media marathon was July 3 when the state reported 66 fresh cases.

Since then the number of daily cases has at times exceeded 700. Three months on, cases have decreased but restrictions on daily life remain.

Growing outbreaks linked to Chadstone Shopping Centre, a cafe in Kilmore and Box Hill hospital have also emerged.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the Box Hill cluster had grown to 10 with five new cases from one family.

He said cases linked to the Kilmore Cafe had now grown to six.

No new cases were added to the cases linked to the Chadstone Shopping Centre.

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