Victoria has recorded a drop in new coronavirus cases today, but the numbers in the state are still highly alarming.
A further 471 people have tested positive to the virus in the past 24 hours, down from yesterday’s grim 725 new cases and 15 deaths.
Sadly, a further eight people have died in the past 24 hours, taking the state’s death toll to 170 and the national toll to 255.
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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed two men in their 60s, three men and two women in their 80s and one woman in her 90s passed away overnight.
Four of the eight deaths have been linked to aged care homes, while there are now a whopping 7449 active cases across the whole state.
It comes as tough Stage Four restrictions on Victorian businesses come into effect today.
Majority of retailers in the city have been forced to close under the rules, while manufacturing and construction has also been scaled back.
Premier Andrews says he hopes the strict measures will help drive down high numbers of community transmission in the state.
“This virus, the sooner we act, the sooner we will limit movement, the sooner we will drive down these case numbers,” the Premier said.
He admitted that the shutdown will hurt many industries, but said it’s something that needs to be done.
“I know this is not easy, I know it’s very complex and challenging. It is unique. We’ve never done it before. It cannot be made perfect, it will always be an imperfect process,” the Premier said.
It comes as the Prime Minister today revealed the shock toll that the state’s Stage Four lockdown will have on the rest of the country.
Speaking to reporters from Canberra on Thursday, Scott Morrison said the combined Stage Three and Four lockdowns in Victoria will wipe an estimated $12 billion from the national economy.
He said the unemployment rate is also expected to rise, with up to 400,000 additional Australians expected to be out of work as a result.
“The additional restrictions in Victoria in August and September is estimated to reduce the size of the real economy, real GDP in the September quarter by between $7 billion and $9 billion,” Mr Morrison said.
“This is a heavy blow, a heavy blow… 80 per cent of this economic cost is expected to be in the affected areas of Victoria, of around $6 billion to $7 billion in that state.
“The combined effect of GDP on GDP of the stage 3 and 4 Victorian restrictions through the September quarter is expected to be in the order of $10 billion to $12 billion detracting some 2.5 percentage points from quarterly real GDP growth.”