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When an epidemiologist thinks it will be safe for Victoria to ease COVID-19 restrictions

An epidemiologist has revealed when he thinks it will be safe for Victoria to relax lockdown restrictions.

Epidemiologist from the Burnet Institute, Professor Michael Toole, says he’d like to see Victoria’s new case number drop to 20 or fewer cases a day before restrictions are eased, but that’s not the number he’s most concerned about.

“You can see in NSW, where they’re recording 20 or less a day, they’re still chasing these so-called mystery cases,” he told Ross and Russel.

“That’s the critical number, we have to get that down to zero and maybe zero for a week or two.

“This is a tenacious virus. It can hang around, if people have no symptoms, for a very, very long time.”

Mystery cases are coronavirus infections with no known source.

There have been 2903 mystery cases recorded in Victoria so far. Yesterday, 40 new mystery cases were recorded.

Professor Toole says the experience in New Zealand shows just how long the virus can persist undetected in a community.

“I’d be more pessimistic now than I was at this time yesterday, given the news coming out of New Zealand. After 100 days of zero mystery cases, they now have four,” he said.

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