Another Geelong case as 12th Victorian dies

A microscopic image of the coronavirus.

By Luke Voogt

Geelong has recorded another COVID-19 case today after the 12th Victorian died from the disease last night.

Confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 57 for greater Geelong while on the Surf Coast cases have remained level on nine for several days, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Initially a department press release stated this morning that Geelong had 56 cases of coronavirus after the number had remained level for the previous two days.

But this afternoon the department’s website stated the number was 57.

Following an email from the Independent a department spokesperson called to confirm that a data input error had occurred and the figure had in fact increased to 57.

The result follows a woman in her 80s dying in hospital last night after contracting COVID-19, the department confirmed today.

Another 11 Victorians, aged from their 50s to their 80s, have died from the disease.

Coronavirus cases in Victoria rose 21 to 1212 today, including 635 males and 577 females. Cases range in age from babies to their early nineties.

In Victoria 101 confirmed cases may have been acquired through community transmission with more than 60,000 tests conducted to date, according to the department.

“Currently 45 people are in hospital – including 12 patients in intensive care – and 736 people have recovered,” the department said.

Of the 1212 cases, 980 occurred in Melbourne and 225 in regional Victoria, according to the department. A number of cases remain under investigation.

Meanwhile, police issued 114 fines in the past 24 hours after conducting 835 spot checks at homes, businesses and non-essential services across Victoria.

Echo Task Force detectives raided the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang clubhouse in Sunshine West last night, fining nine people, police said.

Police fined seven men and two women $1652 each for breaching the directions of the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

Across the state officers also fined four people walking the streets looking for drugs and a group of friends “hanging out in a park”, according to Victoria Police.

Seven people gathering at a house for a dinner party and three mates, who do not live together, playing video games in a loungeroom, also received fines, police said.

Since March 21 police have conducted 16,039 spot checks across Victoria as part of Operation Sentinel.

Meanwhile, a new emergency order has been enacted so that pharmacists can now receive digital images of Schedule 4 prescriptions from a prescriber without relying on the original or faxed copy.

This means, for patients that are self-isolating, their GP can email their pharmacist who may be able to arrange delivery to their home.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton today urged Victorians to stay vigilant, as the Easter holidays approached.

“The rules are clear – and they don’t change over Easter: if you can stay at home, you must stay at home,” he said.

“This is tough for many families, but no Easter holiday is worth a life. Stay at home, protect the health system and save lives.”

Professor Sutton restated that Victorians had only four reasons to leave home: food and supplies, medical care and care giving, exercise, and work or education.

Police can issue on-the-spot fines, including up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses.

Under the State of Emergency people can also face fines of up $20,000 in court. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.

Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 hotline: 1800 675 398.