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Sunrise's David Koch clashes with Victoria's health minister coronavirus

David Koch has gone head to head with Victoria’s health minister over the government’s decision not to reopen the state until new COVID-19 cases drop to just five a day.

The Sunrise host grilled Jenny Mikakos on Monday morning, labelling Premier Daniel Andrews’ roadmap to recovery ‘unrealistic and naive’.   

The lockdown will only lift on October 26 if the average number of new cases falls below five and there are fewer than five unknown source cases.

Mr Andrews announced on Sunday Victoria would need a 14-day average of five cases provided a 97 per cent chance of avoiding having to go back into lockdown.

Victoria’s average daily number of cases during the previous 14 days was about 100.








Sunrise host David Koch grilled Jenny Mikakos on Monday morning, labelling Premier Daniel Andrews' roadmap to recovery 'unrealistic and naive'

Sunrise host David Koch grilled Jenny Mikakos on Monday morning, labelling Premier Daniel Andrews’ roadmap to recovery ‘unrealistic and naive’

Premier Daniel Andrews will only lift lockdown on October 26 if the average number of new cases falls below five and there are fewer than five unknown source cases

Premier Daniel Andrews will only lift lockdown on October 26 if the average number of new cases falls below five and there are fewer than five unknown source cases

‘It looks as though you’ve gone rogue on this. This is out of step with the rest of the country. It looks like you’ve gone broke,’ Koch told Ms Mikakos.

‘This target of getting under five cases a day for 14 days before you get back to any semblance of normal is way different to New South Wales who is managing at an economy relatively open.’

Ms Mikakos said daily case numbers need to be brought down significantly before the government can ‘safely reopen businesses and other economic activity’.  

‘If we just have a little patience we can get that,’ she said.

‘This is based on modelling that if we go too fast  we risk having a third wave that we have seen many countries who are in the throes of a second wave and have had to put restrictions back in place.’

But Koch again shut down the health minister’s rationale, saying the majority of cases are from aged care and health care workers.

‘You’re not going to eliminate (the virus). NSW fluctuates between cases and they keep businesses open, they keep kids at school and they keep the economy going. 

‘You send these benchmarks of five (cases) a day which seems unrealistic. Are you being a bit naive? You’re going way more hard-nosed on this.’ 

‘Rather than using the sledgehammer of rage that you are using, the leading epidemiologists say to focus on those areas and allow the rest of the economy to have a bit more latitude to get people back at work.’

Under the Victorian Government’s plan, Melbourne’s stage four restrictions will remain in place for another two weeks, though from September 14 the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9pm and run until 5am.

People living alone will also be able to nominate a friend or family member who can visit them, while two hours of daily exercise will be allowed, including ‘social interactions’ such as having a picnic at a local park or reading a book at the beach.

The curfew won’t be lifted until October 26, with people able to leave their homes for non-essential reasons.

The lockdown will only lift on that date if the average number of new cases falls below five and there are fewer than five unknown source cases.

Up to five visitors from a nominated household and outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will also be allowed.

Under the Victorian Government's plan, Melbourne's stage four restrictions will remain in place for another two weeks, though from September 14 the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9pm and run until 5am

Under the Victorian Government’s plan, Melbourne’s stage four restrictions will remain in place for another two weeks, though from September 14 the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9pm and run until 5am

The premier said the nominated 14-day average of five cases provided a 97 per cent chance of avoiding having to go back into lockdown

The premier said the nominated 14-day average of five cases provided a 97 per cent chance of avoiding having to go back into lockdown

‘We can’t run out of lockdown. We have to take steady and safe steps out of lockdown to find that COVID normal,’ Mr Andrews said on Sunday.

‘I want a Christmas that is as close to normal as possible and this is the only way, these steps are the only way that we will get to that point.’

The premier said the nominated 14-day average of five cases provided a 97 per cent chance of avoiding having to go back into lockdown.

Victoria’s average daily number of cases during the previous 14 days was about 100.

‘If you open up at that level you are not open for long,’ he said.

The last step will come into effect from November 23, if Victoria goes 14 days with no new cases, allowing public gatherings of up to 50 people and 20 home visitors at a time.

All remaining restrictions will be removed when Victoria goes 28 days with no new cases, although masks will likely remain compulsory for some time. 

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