Coronavirus crisis: Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos quits over COVID blame

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VideoDavid Koch has clashed with Jenny Mikakos over the state’s controversial roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions.

Victoria’s Health Minister has quit her portfolio as the fallout from the State’s COVID-19 hotel quarantine scheme continues.

Jenny Mikakos on Saturday issued a statement confirming her move, just a day after Premier Daniel Andrews gave evidence to an inquiry and pointed partial blame at the minister for her role in the bungled scheme, which led to the state’s deadly second wave of infections.

“I have never wanted to leave a job unfinished but in light of the premier’s statement to the board of inquiry and the fact that there are elements in it that I strongly disagree with, I believe that I cannot continue to serve in his cabinet,” she wrote in a one-page statement.

“I am disappointed that my integrity has sought to be undermined.”

She said when the case numbers in Melbourne started to rise again in June, she sought an explanation and on June 30 received a briefing on a genomic sequencing report.

The report confirmed the link between the hotel quarantine program and Victoria’s second wave.

“To say that I was shocked would be a massive understatement,” Ms Mikakos said.

“As I said to the board of inquiry, I take responsibility for my department, the buck stops with me.”

However, Ms Mikakos said that with the benefit of hindsight there were matters her department should have briefed her on.

“I have never shirked my responsibility for my department but it is not my responsibility alone,” she said.

“I am deeply sorry for the situation Victorians find themselves in. In good conscience, I do not believe that my actions led to them.”

Victoria has had one more coronavirus death as Melbourne’s new case average continues to fall.

The deaths take the State toll to 782 and the national figure to 870.

There were 12 new cases, while Melbourne’s 14-day average fell again on Saturday to 23.6.

It is only 0.8 in regional Victoria.

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