Victoria’s COVID-19 infections surge again

After showing signs of stabilisation, Victoria’s COVID-19 infections have surged again, with 459 cases recorded overnight versus 357 yesterday:

NSW recorded 14 new cases, down from 15 yesterday.

There are now 4233 active cases in Victoria, 96% of the nation’s total:

Victoria has now recorded 8,181 cases since the pandemic began, numbering more than 120 per 100,000 residents:

The curve remains as frightening as ever.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Ist again but to no avail as not WE Reading.
    Anyhow where’s Haroldus ?

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      You mean repeal our gun laws to align with US so fascism can’t take hold ?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        You mean repeal our gun laws to align with US so fascism can’t take hold ?

        Currently the armed citizens who are supposed to step in and stop the fascist Government seem pretty sanguine about it.

    • She feels its her right as a living woman to do what ever she wants. She says that in the video. I feel she is discriminating against women who are not living. I think a business can legally refuse entry or service to anyone as long as they dont discriminate and despite her encyclopedic knowledge of the law, mask wearing is not covered under any anti discrimination act in this country. Or internationally i think. Unless its in regard to a medical condition. She should just get a medical certificate that verifies she is a stupid selfish nutjob and she will be fine.
      I cant quite grasp why it is that people like her feel like they are some kind of freedom rebel that will be applauded for performing stupid stunts like this then putting it online. I expect she imagined she was going to get like ans comments of approval. On one hand its sad. On the other hand it makes me angry that idiots like her bleat on and on about the “rights” they have but ignore the responsibility they and we all have to each other.

      • Frankly, any privately run institution should be able to refuse entry to anyone on any grounds. And why not?

        The reason that the impediments to entry are extremely low is because the general aim of the aforementioned institutions is make as much coin as possible — the colour of one’s money is irrelevant. Said otherwise, the more you discriminate, the less profits you make. It’s not hard.

      • I would have told her to get out and come back when she had a mask. I would not engage in a debate. Just flat out tell her it’s store policy and if she had an issue with it she could write an email to Bunnings management.

    • That’s old. It’s an old persons flu. I know loads of 40 year olds who die of the flu. Loads.

        • Between 1997 and 2016, chickenpox caused 132 deaths in Australia. There were 15 deaths in
          children aged under 15, only 2 of which occurred after vaccination commenced (right figure). The
          yearly death rate among people aged 15 and over has stayed relatively stable, with less than 1 death
          per million population between 1997 and 2016.

          Come on man, your not even trying anymore.
          Say something misleading and confusing while quoting made up statistics.
          Something like :
          More men over 40 experience a 40% chance of erectile dysfunction, 100% of the time when they contract chicken pox while being over 18. Development of a vaccine for chicken pox has been a complete waste of money and the cure is obviously worse than the disease for the economy because those people will now go on to have other illnesses and cost more in health costs in the long term and may even live long enough to collect a pension. This is proof lock downs dont work.

        • Aren’t you the least bit tired of getting owned every time you put forward an opinion or fact about Covid ?

          At least old mate Going learnt to keep his psychopathy to himself on the subject

    • Robert Johnson

      Plenty of unhealthy 40 year olds out there. What medical conditions did he have? Why isn’t this information shared directly with the public?

      The UK is handling this better than we are, they will ban advertising of unhealthy foods next week

      Obesity being a major factor in COVID severity.

      We can’t even stop people burning garbage in chimneys!

    • One person out of how many so far? I wonder what his comorbidities were…

      It’s old people at risk from this, despite the propaganda.

      • bzunicaMEMBER

        Very true. Even if this person didn’t have comorbidities etc., there are always going to be outliers, people younger than 60 who get very ill from this and pass. Feel for him and his family, as well as the others.

        • I do, too. And I don’t have strong opinions about how to handle the crisis. I just want information.

  2. bzunicaMEMBER

    The only good news is the positive rate is lowest for a week due to massive testing yesterday. I still think the numbers are stabilising.

  3. ABC news reports 42,000 tests were done, to give this result of 459 cases.
    Average tests per day for the previous week or so was 27,000.
    All you need to do is scroll down a bit to see the test numbers
    So I see about 1.1% positive rate for today’s data and for
    Wednesday’s large total of 484 cases, 25,576 tests were done.
    This is a 1.9% positive result rate.
    This indicates to me a lower level of infection (comparing only
    2 days)
    I think the explosive growth rate is reducing now.

    • Robert Johnson

      This site is better:

      But yep, double the tests, double the cases!
      Shows why ‘cases’ is a totally useless measure.

      Positivity rate of 1% is fairly low.
      Hospitalisations and ICU flat.

      No big deal.

    • Biggest rise in average daily counts between consecutive seven day periods was 15-July compared to 8-July – average of 232 cases per day compared to 111 cases per day (121 case rise). There was an average of 379 cases per day in the seven days up to and including today compared to 287 average daily cases in the seven days up to last Sunday. That’s an increase of 91 cases – still rising, but not as quickly. Based on the data, it looks like a slow grind down, with very noisy data, so we won’t know when the turning point was until many days after it has occurred.

      • Mondays are always low (Sunday tests = Monday results) so tomorrow should look better… briefly.

        • There’s no day of the week effect. However, given today was higher than the prevailing 7 day average, highly likely we will see fewer cases tomorrow than we saw today. Anything from 330 to 430 would be in line with the overall trend and variation and effectively a ‘no news’ story (e.g. numbers show no particular change).

          • There is very clearly a weekend effect. Look at the chart and look back at the previous three Sundays and Mondays.

          • – 3 weeks not enough to say anything useful about a weekend effect. This would be true even if the average was stable, and it clearly isn’t.
            – At the same time 3 out of three Sundays (results from Saturday) are above the prevailing 7 day average. At the same time 2 out of 3 Mondays (for Sunday) were below and 1 above their MA. Four out of six weekend days producing results above the MA isn’t a convincing argument that there are typically fewer cases found on weekends (it’s not convincing that there are more on weekends either).
            – I only look at the 7 day moving average where there is no day of week effect by definition, and that’s the only statistic I referred to in the comment you replied to. If the seven day moving average changes up or down tomorrow it’s guaranteed to have nothing to do with any day of week effect, even if such exists and is truly massive.

          • I never said Sundays were low. There is a clear pattern of Sundays high and Mondays relatively low. 6 out of 6 days match this over the last three weekends.

          • On the one hand, throwing three heads in a row – bfw.

            On the other, when you take a sample of one of each day of the week there’s no way that a day of week effect, genuine or imagined, can have any possible impact.

      • this is what happens when politicians change testing policies and frequency just to be able to say you are doing something
        more tests don’t help in any way because Melbourne passed long time ago a point where contact tracing would make any difference but now they have no idea what is actually happening because they stick with this stupid “more testing” narrative

        so at the cost of not being able to even know at what stage of infection we are and what’s ahead, politicians can score a point by saying we did record number of tests
        who cares how many they did

        • So doing more testing to track the progress of the infection results in them not knowing anything about what is really happening. That’s what you just said. Have you explained to science that testing is irrelevant. Because I think science would like to know the last 200 years of results are meaningless. I guess that the testing in states free of covid local transmission is also irrelevant. If they are returning constant negative results for covid in each test done that’s completely meaningless and suggests the infection could in fact be rampant through the state but that the entire population who has it now is asymptomatic. When you have time please go outside and check the color of the sky of the planet you are living on.

          • you have no idea what science is
            WHO recommends testing in progressed stage of epidemic to be such so that positive yield is between 3% and 10%
            in Melbourne where epidemic is well past that point and where tracing is fruitless, we have positive yield of 0.1%
            and again, it would be fine if we do large number of tests but with no change in criteria, the problem is when you do 20k tests one day and 50k tests the other so none has any idea if rise in number of positives is due to epidemic speeding up or just because more tests were done

          • ’20k tests one day and 50k tests the next’.

            Not sure that’s what’s happening. I think it’s probably more likely that they increased the testing by a smaller amount – 10% or 2k tests per day – but created a processing backlog. When the backlong became uncomfortable, the put on extra staff to get through it giving the appearance of a surge in testing. It means the age of test results varies from day to day – on the days leading up to testing surge we could be looking at results from 2-3 days ago, then much more recent results after a surge.

  4. Bitter Looser Renter

    Can anyone advise anyway to buy a small amount of BTC without ID or it is a lost cause now?

    • More seriously though. Does it need to be without ID? Buy it on an exchange and then transfer it to a personal wallet. If you really need to buy it without ID it will probably have to be from someone else that you know. You pay them cash and they transfer to you. Any smarter crypto guys know a better way?

      • I’m no crypto guy but what you suggest sounds sensible – and possibly the only way you can get your hands on some without giving some details away.

  5. Given the amount of cases in aged care the lockdown is beginning to look a bit irrelevant to the daily numbers. The lockdown is still necessary to stop further outbreaks, but within the aged care facilities where the virus already has a foothold, it doesn’t look like there’s much more that can be done other than let it burn out within each individual facility, and make sure it doesn’t jump to other facilities. That might mean there’s weeks to go before a proper fall in cases from here, regardless of masks or further tightened lockdown measures.

    • They need an isolation hospital. We had an empty one here in Canberra, out on the oval behind the actual hospital. Paid a fortune for private enterprise to build it, leave it empty, then dismantle it and take it away. That’s what you need.

      • They’ve been very busy today decanting all the Covid patients out of the nursing homes and into private hospitals. There hasn’t really been much, if anything, in the media about it.

  6. So how is everyone getting this virus in Victoria? How is it being spread and what venues?

    • migtronixMEMBER

      It’s in the community and it’s the highly communicable Italian lineage. It’s going to be the same as everywhere else….

      • Let me rephrase it, I’m staying in the house. I’m avoiding contact with people. I’m ordering online groceries etc.. but clearly some people are still going about their day to day as normal. But these venues should be following strict rules. So I’m wondering where people are picking it up?

        Cafes getting takeaway?

        Or out exercising? Or at work? Essential workers?

        • All people breaking the rules, I suspect. There are heaps out there who just don’t give a f***

        • I undertstand up to 50% health care workers; abattoir and meat packing workers; aged care workers and residents.
          Those people are just sitting ducks, and the lockdown measures don’t appear to be targeted at reducing cases in those settings.

          • Lockdowns are there just to show our leaders are doing something
            Otherwise lockdowns are almost useless

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          I cross the road to avoid coffee shops. People get their takeaways, hang out the front, lower the mask and have a chat until their coffee is finished. Anyone else on that side has to dodge through the air hanging between them all.

          Yeah, they’ve got their masks to avoid a fine but no thought goes into why they’re recommended. Even at work they wear them below the nose or wear face shields tilted up so are pointless. The game is about trying to shortcut the rules, which means we all get it. And with no immunity we get it over and over again.

          Straya. Winning.

          • You forgot all the people who can no longer supermarket shop without either being on the phone back to to China/India or seemingly in the middle of closing a business deal – spraying saliva everywhere.

        • Gavin, ordering groceries online doesn’t mean you are safe. Think of how many additional pairs of hands each product has to go through to get to you. It isn’t being picked by a robot in a cleanroom.

      • it’s not about the virus but conditions
        all lineages of the virus produces mass spreads at some places and didn’t in some other places (same Italian kind of cov2 didn’t spread much in southern half of Italy before or after measures but it did spread very fast in parts of the north before and after measures)

        there is something in Melbourne environment that supports virus spreading fairly quickly

        one of just few cases escaping quarantine in Melbourne started all of this but in Sydney that couple of weeks ago had dozens of infected people running around in pubs and other places virus didn’t spread beyond few more dozens of cases
        simply R0 in Melbourne is 3 or more while in Sydney is 1 or less

        • Well it’s cold in Melbourne, so that may be a factor. But surely it’s cold in other parts of the country too at this time of year.

          • Cold doesn’t seem to be that important, virus is spreading fast now in southern hemisphere but also in some of the hottest parts of USA both dry hot like Arizona and east Texas, as well as in humid hot Florida.

          • To be fair there is a lot of a/c in some of those places you mention. I think the way those systems operate with recirculated air would be a part of the problem.
            With all the virtue signalling going on how many bars/restaurants/malls etc have modified their systems to either increase the fresh air intake massively or check their system isn’t dumping mixed recirculated air all over their customers. I could probably count them on one hand.

        • In my view its probably nothing with the virus itself, but the incentivised behaviours the lockdown provides for transmission. Ie sitting on the grass alone, equals a fine. Going for a run on the high street sweating everywhere, perfectly OK. As is walking your dog, where you then meet for a chat with other dog owners, pat their dog (god knows where its been or when it was last washed). But hey you’re safe, you’re doing the right thing because you’re exercising.

  7. The problem is that virus entered so many aged care facilities and hospitals, even if epidemic slows or stagnate there are going to be many deaths because government failed to protect the vulnerable… they were so obsessed with suppression forgeting to limit the impact

    • For all we know Dan let some China officials come in to discuss his secret B&R deal, who knows they might have brought some Chinese viral takeaway with them.
      Sounds conspiratorial, but we know if you have the money you can avoid govt. mandated quarantine, why would Chinese govt. officials be different.

        • I dont need to list here the people who have come in from overseas on private jets and only need to ‘self isolate’ at home because of their wealth.

    • COVID 19: Prosecuting the Case of Victorian Government Negligence

      When is bad luck overtaken by government incompetence as the proximate cause of community transmission of coronavirus infections?
      When is government gross incompetence overtaken by civil negligence as the proximate cause of community transmission of coronavirus infections?
      Calling Ministers and departmental executives “asleep at the wheel” is too polite a criticism.
      Those guilty of that negligence must be held to account not only at the ballot box for the politicians but also in the courts.

      In the COVID pandemic, Australia says to itself we have done well. But Australia is not the United States where public health chaos and manipulated social and political divisiveness have caused a monstrous catastrophe of infections and deaths. That is malfeasance and criminal negligence at work.

      What are the main elements of the case against the Victorian Government? The Four Failures.

      1. Failure to prepare and implement a strategic plan that:
      a. Dynamically assessed the risks of the pandemic as it unfolded around the world.
      b. Prioritised those risks in terms of minimising premature loss of life and minimising severe illness among Victorians.
      c. Assessed and communicated the trade offs between public health priorities and economic losses
      The Premier Dan Andrews was cautious and strict in the measures taken early to limit spread of the virus. It rightly earned him public praise.
      Intuitively he called it a “public health bushfire”. Unfortunately for Victorians that was just rhetoric. Not he, nor his ministers, nor the departmental executives understood the substance of what his mouth had said nor did they take effective action. Time was of the essence and the Government failed.
      For example: what happens when fighting a bushfire in Victoria?
      d. First responders arrive on scene. All firefighters on the truck know there is a strategy and a command structure for fighting fires.
      e. A situation report is immediately transmitted which may include a request for additional resources and the urgency of that request
      f. If the scale of the fire grows significantly, an Incident Control Centre is immediately established as part of the strategy for managing the fire where the first priority is minimising injuries and deaths
      g. All of this happens within hours or a day, NOT weeks or months
      h. When was the incident control centre set up for the meatworks in Colac? After the 20th of July. We knew many weeks ago that thousands of meat workers became COVID infected in large scale meat plants in the United States and Germany. Victoria had already had its largest cluster of infections at Cedar Meats weeks earlier.
      i. But back to the bushfire analogy. The basic function of an incident control centre is to use a practised command structure to manage the prioritised risks. This is part of strategic planning.
      j. What did we know from Italy’s experience by late February? That elderly people were the most likely to become severely ill or die from coronavirus infection.
      k. Where do lots of frail aged people live? In aged care homes and what are the risks of them becoming infected? See Failure 3 below, subsection (a)
      l. Has there been an “Incident Control Centre” established as a strategic command structure for protecting residents in aged care homes? NO! Despite 38 aged care homes having more than 500 coronavirus infections and many residents dying as at 25 July.
      m. Apparently now, on 26 July, a Response Centre is to be established. Too little, too late to avoid the accusation of negligence. Frantic activity by dedicated, hardworking, last line of defence staff has shown itself to be no substitute for identification of risks from whatever jurisdiction, assessment and prioritising those risks for local Victorian conditions then timely decision making.

      2. Failure of operational effectiveness in managing quarantine – when everyone knew there had already been both negative and positive examples from New South
      Wales of how not to manage and how to manage quarantine so community transmission of coronavirus did not explode exponentially.
      a. For example: whether it was penny pinching or not to use subcontracted security staff to manage and enforce hotel quarantine restrictions, what is well known about the private security industry?
      i. Relatively low pay, often arising from multiple layers of subcontracting
      ii. Casual shift work
      iii. Lack of specific training in how to prevent cross infection, ie lack of knowledge of why that is important for this job on this shift
      iv. Likely to be working across various venues in different security roles trying to accrue enough hours of work to support themselves and family
      b. The result of failing to identify these risks: the explosion from contained infections to widespread community transmission
      c. Any informed risk analyst knowing the declared priorities might have warned the Victorian Government about the Singapore experience which we knew about at least as early as 25 April. Singapore appeared to be doing brilliantly in controlling infections as a wealthy, contained city state. But they had their forgotten people, the thousands of migrant workers: low paid and crowded into low quality living conditions, each day going out to work on construction sites, in hospitals and aged care facilities around the wealthy city state. Community transmission of the virus exploded on to the exponential curve mid April, doubling from less than 2000 cases to over 4000 in. a week.
      d. Frantic activity in Victoria has now overwhelmed contact tracing workers. Late action to bring in ADF personnel to help is too little, too late to avoid the accusation of negligence.

      3. Failure to understand and deal with why some people would go to work even if they felt (or knew) they had COVID symptoms.
      a. For example: what are the employment characteristics of aged care workers?
      i. Low pay
      ii. Casual shift work
      iii. Lack of training in how to prevent cross infection, ie not equivalent to hospital nurses
      iv. Working across aged care facilities trying to accrue enough hours of work to support themselves and family
      b. Except for ignorant or reckless fools, none of the above employment characteristics were unknown in February or March 2020. In light of the experience in Italy in February and early March, these facts should have been shouting among ministers and their departmental executives: Look at the risks! Minimise premature loss of life and severe illness! Don’t wait and see! Act now!
      c. When were payments to individuals who faced financial hardship introduced as measures to deal with the risks arising from these known facts? Mid July
      d. Too little, too late to avoid the accusation of negligence.

      4. Failure to focus on achieving community support in high risk, multi-ethnic communities. For example:
      a. The 3000 residents in the high rise towers of Flemington and North Melbourne were peremptorily locked down in their apartments because of coronavirus infections.
      b. The action was correct but very poorly implemented:
      i. A large proportion of the residents are recent migrants or people whose first language is not English
      ii. Social workers living and working in those towers had emailed government officers about four weeks prior to the lock down about the risks of infections spreading in in the towers. The reply given to them “We’ll look into it”. No mitigating action was taken.
      iii. There was insufficient and inadequate communication in languages other than English explaining the risks of infection and what government wanted all people to do.
      iv. The actual process of lockdown was that the first notification of what was happening was multiple police cars surrounding the buildings.
      v. It was culturally and politically insensitive not to first involve community leaders of the communities living there.
      vi. The four week lock down seems to have worked and, once residents were properly informed of what was happening and why, many residents declared their support.
      vii. Action taken too late, but the effectiveness avoids the accusation of negligence for the last of the Four Failures

      Leave aside the malfeasance and criminal negligence demonstrated daily regarding coronavirus infections and deaths in the United States. We must not assess our achievements or our failings against such abysmal standards.

      Victoria could have done better than it has done. The Government has failed and must be held to account, though not because the Opposition had a better plan or analysis (did it articulate any plan at all except the self-aggrandising member seeking publicity by calling Premier Andrews a dictator).

      The Victorian Government could have learned from the earlier experience in other jurisdictions in the world and the risks demonstrated there. Our Government could have applied analysis of those risks to the known facts of Victorian conditions generally. Our Government could have applied analysis of those risks to the known facts relevant to specific local conditions and circumstances in Victoria. Our Government could have then connected those analyses to whatever strategic plans it had for managing pandemics. This is operational risk analysis 101.

      Oh … Sorry….we didn’t have any such strategic plans despite SARS then MERS. In that case, skip “bad luck” as a proximate cause of community transmission of infections. The start point is then “incompetence”. Proceed to “gross incompetence” as the proximate cause of community transmission of infections then quickly to “civil negligence”.

      Dan Andrews, his Ministers and the departmental executives must battle on, exhorting all of us to follow the rules. That makes sense because from this far behind there is nothing else they can do.

      But start the processes running for prosecuting the Victorian Government for civil negligence in failing to meet its duty of care to Victorians.

      In terms of risk analysis and aligning incentives to achieve declared priorities by managers of government responsibilities, continue the evolution of the law of tort by applying it to government services where there has been proven negligence in failing to act in a timely way.

      COVID 19 is too good a crisis to waste in setting new standards for greater accountability from governments.

      • rrs95 well done. Negligence by govts and public servants should be pursued in the courts. The Andrews govt has introduced criminal charges and asset confiscation for business proprietors for workplace accidents. Give them the same outcome!!!