National

Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown: 'We may have to call it'

Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown: 'We may have to call it'
The Victorian Government is considering changing its roadmap out of lockdown as coronavirus case numbers stagnate to a "stubborn" daily average.
The state recorded 15 new cases and no deaths overnight, with 10 linked to family clusters or known cases.
The all-important rolling 14-day average in metro Melbourne sits at 9.9 and just 0.4 for regional Victoria.
Victoria Police patrol St Kilda beach in Melbourne, as groups of young people wear masks in the sunshine. (Getty / Darrian Traynor)
Premier Daniel Andrews said the state government was re-evaluating case number targets attached to its steps out of lockdown, admitting they would have to "call it" at some point.
Melbourne has been in lockdown for about three-and-a-half months, with the geographical shutdowns first enforced on July 2.
"I think we might reconsider some of the numbers," he said.
"It may be at a point where we have to call it, where we have to say that this is as good as it will get, that means there is some greater risk, that means that the task of keeping this thing suppressed will be harder, but, that is where we find ourselves, and that's the choice that we have to make.
"To achieve the lower number might mean we're locked down too long."
There are 191 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria. A total of 21 Victorians are in hospital.
However, Mr Andrews said the virus would "be back" if the state opened up immediately.
"If we open up right now, then it will be almost impossible for us to keep this thing contained and every jurisdiction in the world that's done it has had that same challenge," he said.
Most Victorian primary students and Year 7s are back in the classroom for the first time since June today.
Years 8 - 10 are scheduled to return at the end of the month.
Mr Andrews said despite a recent spike in COVID-19 infections - driven by outbreaks at Kilmore, Chadstone, Frankston and Box Hill Hospital - there was not a "huge number" of additional mystery cases.
The premier said there will be some easing of restrictions on Sunday, with the potential of further easing for regional Victoria.
"There will be some further easing that we can announce on Sunday that it will be brought in in the social space and the economic space but we may be able to do more in that front in regional Victoria," he said.
"Today is not the day for those announcements but that will be for Sunday after many hours of poring over data but also the narrative that is behind those cases with the public health team and with colleagues."
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