Two men succumb to coronavirus in Victoria as state reports first fatalities

Two men being treated for COVID-19 in Victoria died overnight, becoming the state's first coronavirus fatalities.

Their deaths bring the national death toll to 11.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.Credit:Luis Ascui

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told radio station 3AW on Thursday morning that "tragically" the two men in their 70s had died overnight.

"They're our first deaths," Dr Sutton said.

"But in a sense they're not unexpected. We're now up to 520 cases, so two deaths amongst 500 is relatively small looking at the global figures."

Professor Sutton said the state recorded 54 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing Victoria's total to 520.

The state’s tally includes four emergency department health workers at Werribee Mercy Hospital in Melbourne’s outer west.

He said the number of new confirmed cases had declined for the past two days in Victoria.

"That wasn't entirely unexpected," Professor Sutton said.

"I think I said [previously] the numbers of travellers returning has fallen away very sharply and because a lot of our cases were imported cases from travellers, that this might happen.

"But we shouldn't be complacent. There will be a number of their contacts and potentially other community transmission cases that will grow over time if we don't stay away from each other."

The deaths come a day after Premier Daniel Andrews warned he may enact more extreme measures and as he ordered people to stay in their homes to help slow the spread of the virus.

The police union has also called for a state of disaster to be declared.

Sign up to our Coronavirus Update newsletter

Get our Coronavirus Update newsletter for the day’s crucial developments at a glance, the numbers you need to know and what our readers are saying. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald’s newsletter here and The Age’s here.

About 500 police officers are tasked with enforcing the closure of non-essential services in Victoria and the mandatory 14-day self-isolation for travellers.

Individuals breaching strict quarantine measures face fines of up to $25,000, while businesses could be hit with up to $100,000 fines for breaching restrictions.

More to come

Source: Read Full Article