Coronavirus Australia: Horror day with 16 deaths and 2189 cases as Victoria comes out of lockdown

The West Australian
VideoMelbourne erupts into celebration with lockdown freedom.

Victoria has recorded 2189 new COVID cases and 16 deaths as Melbourne emerges from lockdown and its residents flock to hairdressers, cafes and pubs.

The Health Department confirmed the numbers while unveiling a new data dashboard featuring hospitalisation figures.

There are 784 people in hospital, with 145 in intensive care including 94 on a ventilator.

The latest deaths are the highest daily tally of the State’s third wave and lifts the toll from the current outbreak to 203.

There were 77,036 tests processed and 38,339 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at State-run hubs yesterday.

Loud cheering and applause broke out at apartment buildings and in Melbourne’s streets the moment the city’s sixth lockdown ended at 11.59pm last night.

Melburnians headed to hairdressers for a much-needed late-night snip, while others dropped into pubs and restaurants to celebrate with a drink or feed.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp was among the revellers at Angel Music Bar on Bourke Street, saying she did not want to miss the moment.

“I can say with certainty that the buzz is officially back,” she tweeted.

From today, people can leave their homes for any reason and travel anywhere within metropolitan Melbourne.

The curfew has been scrapped, home gatherings of up to 10 are allowed and hairdressers, beauticians and hospitality businesses can reopen for the fully vaccinated with limits.

Victoria reached its 70 per cent double-dose vaccination target on Wednesday, while almost 90 per cent of those aged over 16 have had at least one vaccine dose.

The State is on track for 80 per cent double-dosed by October 30, a week ahead of the original November 5 estimate.

FIVE DEATHS & 345 CASES IN NSW

Infections in NSW have fallen slightly but the State is bracing for a potential spike in case numbers, almost two weeks after stay-at-home orders were lifted.

The State reported 345 cases this morning, down from 372 yesterday.

Five more people died, taking the death toll from this outbreak to 592.

The number of people in hospital continues to fall, now at 482 — 41 of whom were from the previous day.

Despite the slight dip, case numbers are still higher than they have been for most of the past week.

Health authorities are expecting cases to begin rising in earnest from next week — two weeks after initial freedoms came in and a week after the second stage of the roadmap out of lockdown allowed significantly more social interactions.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said case numbers were still well below expectations.

“There will be increasing numbers, there will be an increase in hospitalisations,” he said.

STATE-BY-STATE CASE BREAKDOWN

VIC — 2189 cases and 16 deaths

NSW — 345 cases and five deaths

ACT — TBA

QLD — TBA

WA — TBA

SA — TBA

TAS — TBA

NT — TBA

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