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Just two new cases in Victoria ahead of lockdown lift

Victoria has recorded two new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours and no deaths ahead of today’s anticipated easing of restrictions.

The latest figure comes after only one new infection was identified yesterday – marking the lowest numbers since the beginning of June.

Premier Daniel Andrews will address the easing of restrictions in the state today as the rolling average in the Melbourne Metro area continues to drop.

There are 15 mystery cases remaining in Victoria, all of which are in metro areas.

Yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews said the mystery cases “remain a challenge” for Victoria.”

The reason why a mystery case is a real concern to us is there is at least one other person who gave the person we know about the virus,” Mr Andrews said.

“They will have close contacts, their close contacts will have contacts … Mystery cases are one measure of the fact that yes, there is virus out there that we don’t know about and the other point is not everybody gets tested as soon as they should.”

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said restrictions on gatherings and movement were an important part of limiting mystery cases and identifying where they come from.

“They are making up a bigger proportion of our daily total, in part because they are the hardest ones to find,” he said.

“They’re not so easily identifiable as the ones that we discover going through the close contact tracing process.”

Restrictions to easing

Today’s numbers comes as the state prepares to have some of its restrictions eased.

“Everything that has been done, everything that has been given needs to count for something and that is why this strategy is not about racing to open up, running to COVID normal, it is about safe and steady steps,” he said.

Hundreds self-isolating in regional Victoria

More than 400 people are isolating in Shepparton today after 234 primary close contacts and 177 secondary close contacts were identified in relation to an active case.

Authorities have been closely monitoring the area after an infected truck driver deliberately mislead contact tracers about where he had been.

Only three active cases remain in Shepparton after hundreds rushed to testing clinics in the last week.

Mr Andrews said regional areas were coming close to being able to travel interstate as case numbers continue to decline.

“We’re very close to having a situation where regional Victorians will be able to travel into New South Wales and into SA,” he said.

“Once we’re in a position to bring down that ring of steel between metro Melbourne and regional Victoria, then there will be greater freedom of movement within Victoria and then there can be further interstate travel.”

Source: 9News

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