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ABC News (Australia) 10 October, 2021 - 09:10pm

New Melbourne Covid hot spots emerge as state records 1612 cases 10 October, 2021 - 04:09pm

A local government region in Melbourne’s southeast has taken over the mantle as the top Covid hotspot in Victoria.

The City of Casey recorded more new cases than any other council areas on Monday, surpassing Hume as the most virus-riddled region.

Health department deputy secretary Naomi Bromley said Casey recorded 174 new infections, ahead of Hume with 169.

The neighbouring area of Greater Dandenong came in fourth with 109 new cases.

Overall, the northern suburbs still recorded the highest total number of cases with 499 infections (31 per cent), followed by 459 in the southeast suburbs (29 per cent), 427 in the west (27 per cent), and 95 in the east.

There were 122 new infections recorded in regional Victoria.

Across the entire state, there were 1612 new cases and eight more deaths.

It was Victoria’s sixth highest daily increase on record, but slightly lower than Sunday’s 1889 infections.

“Pleasingly, we are seeing a stabilisation in Hume,” Ms Bromley said.

“In previous weeks, we have seen Hume record up to 300 cases a day. I think the dramatic increase in vaccination rates in the area has gone a long way to helping us bend the curve of infection in this area and Hume is now up around 85 per cent (first dose).”

Ms Bromley said authorities had been concerned about the southeast suburbs “for a few weeks now”.

“We have been upgrading vaccination capacity in the areas. That includes a new drive through opening up today in Cranbourne,” she said.

The new deaths takes the number of lives lost during the outbreak to 93 and the toll of the entire pandemic in Victoria to 913.

The deaths included a woman in her 70s and a man in his 60s from Darebin, a man in his 40s from Port Phillip, man in his 80s from Maribyrnong, a man in his 80s from Brimbank, a man in his 70s from the City of Melbourne, a man in his 70s from Glen Eira, and a woman in her 70s from Whittlesea.

At least 677 positive Covid patients are in hospital in Victoria, with 133 of those in intensive care, including 94 cases on a ventilator.

Authorities remain concerned as the virus continues to spread rapidly across Melbourne despite tough lockdown measures.

Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said there had been a shift toward the southeast regions of the city in the past 10 days with infections rising to their highest level in Casey on Sunday.

He said half of the cases were from six local government areas – Brimbank, Casey, Hume, Melton, Whittlesea and Wyndham.

“With only 50 per cent of those cases in the six LGA areas, it means there’s a lot of cases across other parts of Melbourne and regional Victoria,” he said.

Lockdown is set to end in Victoria around October 26 when 70 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and older are fully vaccinated.

As of Saturday, 86.1 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 58.1 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Premier Daniel Andrews has committed to ending the lockdown as planned when the state reached 70 per cent fully vaccinated.

There are 19,012 active coronavirus cases in Victoria, with more than 12,000 cases in the last week alone.

Victorian authorities have announced a major change to the vaccine rollout as the state surges towards its reopening target.

Federal Labor MP Anthony Byrne has admitted using funds to pay for party memberships in a bombshell first day of a corruption probe.

Three schools and a handful of venues in Victorian’s northwest are the latest sites to be added to the growing Covid-19 exposure list.

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