Extreme lockdown looms for Victoria
Scott Morrison and Daniel Andrews held crisis talks overnight to discuss further extreme lockdown measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 after a record surge in cases in Victoria.
The Prime Minister and Victorian Premier reportedly held the emergency meeting after Scott Morrison said the Stage 3 lockdown in Victoria was "not getting the results we would hope for".
The talks reportedly included the possibility of shutting down non-essential industries - not including supermarkets and pharmacies - and further restrictions on movement in Melbourne.
Mr Morrison also flagged a broader program of paid pandemic leave to ensure low income workers stay home if they are sick and more measures to tackle the aged care crisis.
"We have been in this lockdown now for some weeks, and we are not getting the results we would hope for. And as a result the further measures that are taken are certainly necessary,'' Mr Morrison said.
"They will have an impact on the economy - we understand that. But, equally, not containing these outbreaks will have that effect also. And so it's important that we continue to work together to get on top of this and to take whatever actions are necessary."
Victoria yesterday reported its worst day since the pandemic began with 723 new cases of coronavirus and 13 deaths. Of those who died, 10 were associated with aged care facilities.
Mr Morrison said on Wednesday there would be "no golden tickets" out of the coronavirus pandemic. He added "some days, the virus wins. On other days, we beat it".
Before the crisis talks the Prime Minister said aged care facilities where workers were found not to be wearing PPE should have their accreditation docked.
Mr Morrison also said yesterday talks were continuing with unions over a push for paid pandemic leave to help ensure sick workers on low income earners did not feel they should attend work even if they are sick.
"We're still working those discussions through as part of the process that the Minister for Industrial Relations is engaged in.
"It is best those discussions are held there. We're conscious of the issues and seriously pursuing them,'' he said.
Mr Morrison was careful to note that the record high 723 cases in one day was not driven solely by aged care sector
"Aged care cases, including staff, account for just under around about 10 per cent of the total cases announced today,'' he said.
Mr Morrison said yesterday many countries around the world were in the midst of combating a second wave - and highlighted the importance of securing a vaccine.
"Whoever finds it, wherever they are, I think there is a global responsibility to share that far and wide," Mr Morrison said.
Originally published as Extreme lockdown looms for Victoria