On track for lockdown end

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (Louisa Jones) 243047_06

By Luke Voogt

Geelong appears on track to exit lockdown on schedule this Sunday with no new cases reported in the city.

The Surf Coast, also scheduled to exit lockdown at midnight on Sunday, recorded just one new case in a Torquay household yesterday, health authorities confirmed.

“This case is a known primary close contact of a local case, and was in isolation for their infectious period,” Barwon South West Public Health Unit director Eugene Athan said.

“The low number of new cases and community transmission is a positive sign for our region.”

Greater Geelong had 17 active cases as of yesterday, with another five in the Surf Coast Shire, according to the Department of Health.

“No new exposure sites have been identified in our region,” Professor Athan said.

“There are five patients in University Hospital Geelong with COVID-19.

“Two of these people are in [intensive care] in a serious but stable condition, and three are in a stable condition. All patients are from Metropolitan Melbourne.

“Demand for testing has been steady with almost 2000 tests performed across testing sites yesterday.”

Professor Athan urged locals to continue getting vaccinated as the Barwon South West Public Health Unit surpassed a quarter of a million doses delivered in the region this week.

“We are experiencing strong demand for first dose Pfizer bookings this weekend,” he said.

“However we urge those requiring their second dose to come forward and make a booking when due as we have availability for second dose appointments.

“We also have walk-ins and appointments available for AstraZeneca vaccinations.

“The vaccines are 98 per cent effective at preventing any kind of disease hospitalisation from COVID-19 [and reduce] the chance of transmission from person to person by at least 60 per cent.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also indicated the signs looked promising for Geelong to exit lockdown on time.

“I think it’s progressing as we had hoped,” Mr Andrews said.

“It’s all dependent on what happens in the next couple of days but we hope to be able to have positive announcements for Geelong soon.”