Victoria is hit with just 37 new coronavirus cases and six deaths overnight – as Daniel Andrews’ top advisor tells the premier his restrictions are too harsh and must be relaxed NOW

  • Victoria recorded 37 new coronavirus infections and six deaths on Saturday 
  • The new cases are the state’s lowest daily increase since June 26  
  • New fatalities take the state death toll to 716 and the national figure to 803

Victoria has recorded just 37 new coronavirus cases and six deaths as the premier’s top advisor calls for the state’s strict lockdown to be eased.

The infections reported on Saturday are the state’s lowest daily increase since June 26 and mark the ninth day in a row of double digit figures.

The promising decline in infections comes after Victoria saw 43 new cases on Friday, 51 on Thursday and 76 on Wednesday. 

The additional fatalities take the state death toll to 716 and the national figure to 803. 

Victoria has recorded 37 new coronavirus cases and six deaths. Pictured: Melburnians exercise on Friday

Victoria has recorded 37 new coronavirus cases and six deaths. Pictured: Melburnians exercise on Friday

Paul Little, the chairman of the state government’s own COVID-19 Advisory Group, said the state’s coronavirus restrictions created ‘unintended consequences’. 

‘Most of the industry and community contacts I have spoken to recently agree that using a ‘blunt tool’ of minimising social interaction throughout Victoria has created many unintended consequences,’ he told AFR Weekend.

Mr Little’s role involves supplying ‘real time intelligence from key community and business sectors’ to the government’s strategic decision makers.  

He warned small businesses are likely to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 lockdown.

‘Currently within Victoria, the small to medium enterprises (SME) sector is under severe pressure and many of these businesses will not resume operations when lifting of restrictions occurs as per the road map,’ he said. 

It comes as a top QC questioned the validity of the coronavirus curfew imposed on Melbourne by Premier Daniel Andrews.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) delivers his state's daily coronavirus update

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) delivers his state’s daily coronavirus update

Michael Wyles said the 8pm to 5am curfew, brought in as part of the city’s Stage Four restrictions, had not been authorised under state law.

‘There is no legal basis for the curfew,’ he told The Australian.

Legislation allows health officials to make emergency orders to protect the public but chief health officer Brett Sutton has revealed he did not seek the curfew.

Premier Andrews instead said the restriction had been ‘about enforcement’.

Mr Wyles’ pointed out the potential flaw in the curfew as assisting law enforcement was not a valid reason to enact emergency health orders.

‘It is invalid and everyone can ignore it because the direction is not, according to what Sutton said yesterday, for the purpose of eliminating or reducing the risk of COVID,’ Mr Wyles said.

More to come 

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