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Why the end of this week will determine if Victoria returns to statewide lockdown

An infectious diseases expert says what happens at the end of this week will be key in determining the path Victoria takes in the fight against COVID-19.

Senior Professorial Fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, Professor Robert Booy, says a statewide lockdown is still a possibility.

“Because the incubation period of the virus is a minimum of five days, the impact of what happened on Saturday and Sunday won’t be known until the end of the week” he told Neil Mitchell.

“If, at the end of the week, we’re still seeing surges and increases in numbers there will be a response to that.

“If there’s any indication that it’s getting out of control, that it’s getting into suburbs, even if we haven’t found a lot of infections yet, we’ve got to look at the trend.”

Professor Booy urged Victorians to get tested, and shared an urgent message for over-65s.

“We cannot have thousands of people saying no to testing,” he said.

“People who are retired are so much more vulnerable, and especially if they’ve got other risk factors — if they’ve got hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease — the combination of being elderly and having a medial problem is a real danger.

“I remind myself daily: I say ‘hey, I might not be sick now but I’m nearly 60, I’m at real risk’.”

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