One in four Victorians in self-isolation weren't home when door knocked

Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Friday.
Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Friday. Photo credit: Getty

One in four people supposed to be in self-isolation in Victoria weren't home when the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and health officials went door knocking on Thursday, as COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise.

Victoria recorded the state's second-highest number of new daily cases with 627, compared with a record 723 cases a day earlier.

The state also recorded a further eight deaths, bringing their total fatalities from the pandemic to 112, which is more than half of Australia's total death tally.

The state now has topped more than 10,000 cases, with total infections in the country at just over 17,000.

"It is clear to all of us that these numbers are still far too high," premier Daniel Andrews said at the COVID-19 update on Friday.

"It may well be the case...that we need to take further steps. The data will tell us, the experts will tell us, what and if any next steps need to be."

Andrews also revealed more than 130 out of 500 people door knocked by the ADF were not at home self-isolating.

"One in four people were found not to be at home," he said.

"It is absolutely unacceptable for you to have this virus and not be at home...It's not acceptable."

Those people have been referred to police, and may face a NZ$1800 fine.

Now instead of the 34 door knocking teams only visiting those who have not picked up their phone to confirm they are at home, they will be knocking on the doors of every person who has tested positive to COVID-19 in Melbourne.

"If you have got this virus, you've got to stay at home."

Victoria, which is due to come out of lockdown on August 19, is currently analysing COVID-19 transmission trends which will guide any new restrictions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison acknowledged the larger spike in cases in Melbourne remained a challenge, although added he was confident a coronavirus flare-up in Sydney was under control.

"The level of community outbreak and community transmission in Victoria is the great challenge down there," Morrison said on 2GB radio. "And there's still a lot of work to do and we're not on top of it yet."

Morrison said New South Wales had contained the spread of the virus from outbreaks at pubs, restaurants and aged care homes around Sydney thanks mainly to much better contact tracing than in Victoria. New South Wales recorded 21 new cases overnight.

"The key difference is that in New South Wales ... there are no cases that have an unknown source. None," he said, noting that Victoria has had around 50 cases a day with no known source.

Morrison urged Muslims who will be celebrating the Eid al-Adha festival starting on Friday to stay away from big gatherings. Some of Victoria's outbreaks since June have been linked to family gatherings after the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

"At times like this, it's even more important that we don't gather in those large groups, that as important as faith is, that we really do think of the health issues here," he said. 

Reuters/ Newshub