A nurse works with a COVID patient in the ICU at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Aaron Francis/The Australian
A nurse works with a COVID patient in the ICU at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Aaron Francis/The Australian

19 deaths, 331 new cases in equal deadliest day

Victoria has recorded its equal deadliest day after 19 people died of coronavirus overnight.

The death toll now stands at 247, and an additional 331 new cases have been recorded in the past 24 hours.

Nineteen deaths were also recorded on Monday, with 14 of those connected to aged-care facilities.

It comes amid concerns for the safety of medical staff, with reports some have been forced to buy their own personal protective gear and lacked the training to properly put it on.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in healthcare workers rose to 1065 on Monday.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians says the spike in cases in Victoria is of "significant concern" and insufficient PPE supplies and training are fuelling the rise. They are now lobbying government to commit to reducing the number of work-acquired infections in the sector to zero.

"That number of healthcare workers who have become infected is unacceptable," RACP president Professor John Wilson said.

"If we use the right PPE in the right settings, the numbers of healthcare workers infected will reduce dramatically. We believe that with appropriate PPE that number should be zero."

Prof Wilson's comments follow a survey of the college's members which found 20 per cent of those working at public hospitals were bringing their own PPE to work. A further 39 per cent said they had not been trained to use the equipment properly.

Premier Daniel Andrews disputed the claims, saying there was "no issue" with the state's medical stockpile.

"There's no issue about the quantities that we've got," he said. "The distribution network is, I think, working well.''

 

EXPLOSIVE VIDEO LAYS QUARANTINE FIASCO BARE

The bureaucrats in charge of the catastrophic hotel quarantine scheme boasted they were treating it as a "massive inbound super trade mission" in a bizarre in-house video which reveals they were given little more than 24 hours to set it up.

The self-congratulatory video, filmed in late April and leaked to the Herald Sun, provides the first real insight into how public servants with no experience in public health were tasked with managing a program which ultimately ­fuelled the coronavirus's deadly second wave.

Played to Department of Jobs, Precincts and the Regions staff on April 24, it features top public servants detailing the key role in the program of Global Victoria - the agency which manages the state's overseas trade missions.

Global Victoria chief Gonul Serbest, presenting the reel, boasts: "The fact that we have been able to help slow the spread of coronavirus makes us feel really proud of the work we have been doing."

Read the full story here.

PREMIER TO FACE MUSIC OVER CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Daniel Andrews is due to appear before a parliamentary committee on Tuesday to answer questions over his government's handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Victoria's trouble-plagued hotel quarantine inquiry is tipped be a key focus of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearing.

Jennifer Coate, who is running an inquiry into the bungled quarantine program, last week gave the all clear for the Premier and other ministers to answer questions over the program, saying there was no risk of prejudice to her inquiry.

Read the full story and follow live coverage here.

Two lone pedestrians at an otherwise empty Flinders Street Station on Monday. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Two lone pedestrians at an otherwise empty Flinders Street Station on Monday. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE COULD BE HERE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Australia is in advanced talks to secure Oxford University's coronavirus vaccine which could be delivered before Christmas.

The hotly anticipated vaccine is due to be manufactured next month at a plant in north Wales and already has orders for 400 million doses across the world.

The British government has reserved a section of Wockhardt's plant in Wrexham, about four hours' drive north of the capital Cardiff, for 18 months.

Wockhardt managing director Ravi Limaye, said he hoped to deliver doses of the Oxford vaccine "very soon."

Read the full story here.

A deserted Melbourne CBD on Monday. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
A deserted Melbourne CBD on Monday. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

 

COUNCIL BOSS FLEES INTERSTATE DURING CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

A top council chief executive - who earns $400,000 a year from ratepayers - has fled the restrictions in Victoria to work from his "second home" in Adelaide.

Port Phillip Council's Peter Smith has received criticism from the outraged community who question how he can fully lead and support his staff from 700km away.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said it showed "blatant disregard for what we're going through here".

"We're supposed to be 'all in this together' but that's clearly not the case," he said.

Read the full story here.

 

VICTORIA'S SCHOOL CAMPS GO REMOTE

Parents and kids can rejoice, with students at schools across Victoria experiencing school camps from the comfort of their own backyards.

The move has received widespread praise from families in what is seen as a win-win for parents who are working inside from home, and kids who are keen to have ''normal'' school activities run throughout the semester.

Templestowe Valley Primary School principal Alison Rees said there had been positive responses from families.

Victorian schools have moved to remote school camps. Picture: Rebecca Michael
Victorian schools have moved to remote school camps. Picture: Rebecca Michael

"In all the photos we've received the students have smiles and look like they're having a great time," Ms Rees said.

Ms Rees said the initiative is a fun and innovative way to l incorporate the camp experience into remote learning.

"We've been running activities for our year three, four, five and six students," Ms Rees said.

"They've been building tents in the backyard or inside for example.''



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