Victoria confirmed Its 21st coronavirus death today, amid a huge spike of 127 cases in just 24 hours.
The hot spot State is so far not managing to contain its second wave of coronavirus, which is eclipsing the first wave when COVID-19 first broke it.
Premier Daniel Andrews has closed down nine public housing buildings which have been dubbed “vertical cruise ships” – harking back to the disaster of the Ruby Princess.
More than 3,000 residents of those buildings, including 400 children, remain in strict lockdown for at least five days as Victorian police ensure no-one gets in and out.
Things have gotten so dire that NSW has closed its border to Victoria, you know, the State that’s called out others like WA for border closures?
Yeah, we went there.
New COVID-19 death
A man in his 90s died in a Victorian hospital overnight, but there are no more details than that out of respect for the family.
“We send our condolence and our best wishes to his family and love ones, this will be a very difficult day for them and we send our sympathies to each and every person affected by that tragedy,” Mr Andrews said,
“Out of respect for the family, I will provide no further details as to that person’s identity or any further details about that case.”
The man was one of 32 Victorians battling the virus in hospital.
After a phone hook-up with the Prime Minister and NSW Premier, Mr Andrews announced the border closure, which he said had been a “unified position”.
But while standing behind NSW’s border closure with Victoria, NSW Premier Glady Berejiklian said there was no reason for any other State border to be closed.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the decision to close the border was not “taken lightly” and stood by her position against border closures more broadly.
“I also stress to the other States, now that New South Wales has taken this decision and given where we are, there is really no excuse for any other State, apart from Victoria, to have any border closures with New South Wales and I urge all the other States of Australia, in our national interest, to think about that,” she said.
“I say to all the other States around Australia, use this as an opportunity to now take off your borders with New South Wales.
“(We) have an obligation to make sure we don’t create any further job losses in the rest of the nation and we support our economy and the rest of the nation by having free and open borders with the rest of the nation.”
Mark McGowan has still not revealed even a tentative date on border re-opening so far.
Vertical cruise ships
Of Victoria’s 127 new cases, 16 are from the nine locked-down towers.
They add to 37 confirmed cases in the building previously.
Mr Andrews said his intention was to test all 3,000 residents.
He stood by criticism of the harsh lockdown, and said it was critical to save lives.
“It is not pleasant, I know it’s challenging, it is very challenging, but it is far preferable to seeing vast numbers of people with underlying health conditions infected with this virus, spreading it between each other and the inevitable tragic outcomes that will come from that,” he said.
Mr Andrews confirmed Foodbank had so far delivered 3,000 meals and 500 hampers to residents, and the children had received care packages of Lego and colouring in to keep them occupied during the lock down.
More coronavirus news on SoPerth.com.au.