Victoria records 733 Covid cases and one death as fears rise that cases could explode following violent protests across the city
- Positive Covid case numbers in Victoria slightly down from yesterday’s 766
- Melbourne has spent more days in lockdown than city on earth – 236 days in total
- Frustrations over latest lockdown have spilled into ongoing protests in last week
- Fears over further virus spread after a protester tested positive on Thursday
Victoria has recorded 733 new local Covid cases as fears rise that the violent protests across Melbourne could be a super-spreader event.
There was one Covid-related death also recorded on Friday, the health department confirmed.
Demonstrators who attended the third day of recurring Melbourne protests have been encouraged to get tested as a fellow mob member battles COVID-19 in hospital.
Victoria has recorded 733 new local Covid cases on Friday. Victorian police are pictured patrolling St Kilda beach
Police question a woman in Carlton Gardens, Melbourne, as they attempt to prevent protests by construction workers and demonstrators against Covid-19 regulations in the city
Victorian police officers detain a man as part of their operations in response to the ongoing anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne
Victoria’s health department has confirmed a person is being treated in hospital after attending Wednesday’s at-times violent rally.
‘Public health investigations are under way,’ a spokesman said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
‘We are urging protesters to get tested should they experience COVID-like symptoms, no matter how mild.’
The infection will be included in Friday’s official case tally.
The COVID-positive protester was among a mob of 400 to 600 who swarmed the Victorian capital on Wednesday, despite stay-at-home orders and repeated warnings from authorities.
Chanting ‘every day’ from the Shrine of Remembrance, hundreds without masks, some still wearing high-visibility clothing, marched through the city to the war memorial.
Riot squad members fired tear gas and other non-lethal rounds when rioters became increasingly hostile and refused to leave, with two officers injured and 215 arrests.
The demonstrations initially began in opposition to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the construction sector and the closure of building site tea rooms, but have since turned into wider unrest.
A fourth day of the planned protests was a non-event, with demonstrators largely a no-show on Thursday despite flagging potential meeting sites.
Police pounced on protesters before they were able to gather in significant numbers, making 92 arrests.
Meanwhile, stranded Victorians fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will soon be allowed to return home from Greater Sydney.
From September 30, double-dosed Victorians stuck anywhere in NSW can come home if they return a negative test 72 hours before departure, isolate at home for 14 days and get tested at the start and end of quarantine.
Victoria recorded 766 new infections on Thursday – its highest ever daily COVID-19 case tally – and four deaths, bringing the latest outbreak’s toll to 20.