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Epidemiologist explains why he wants more Melbourne COVID-19 cases uncovered today

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Article image for Epidemiologist explains why he wants more Melbourne COVID-19 cases uncovered today

An epidemiologist says Melburnians should brace for the prospect of having their New Year’s Eve plans altered at the last minute after COVID-19 made its way back into the city.

Three women have tested positive.

Professor Tony Blakely, epidemiologist at the University of Melbourne, said it was “absolutely” cause for concern and he expects more cases to emerge as soon as today.

“I’m expecting to see more numbers today and if I don’t I’d actually be more concerned than the other way around,” Professor Blakely said.

“Again, we don’t know how connected these three people are – I’m hoping they are somewhat connected – but there will be more cases and I’d be expecting the number of notified cases to be going up into the maybe ten-fold area, sort of 10 or so in the next couple of days, and then tapering off if things go well.”

He said he was expecting the government to swing into action as a result.

“I’m expecting we’ll see some tightening up (of restrictions) in at least some areas of Melbourne for tonight, which is most unfortunate, but we know that is what you need to do with this virus,” he said.

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Infectious diseases expert, Professor Peter Collignon, said whether the three cases were connected will prove to be a crucial piece of information.

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