Vic death toll mounts as case numbers fall

Victoria has reported another record day of COVID-19 fatalities with 19 deaths.
Victoria has reported another record day of COVID-19 fatalities with 19 deaths.

Victoria has recorded Australia's deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic with 19 deaths, as the state reported its lowest number of new cases in almost two weeks.

Australia's death toll has now surpassed 300, with 313 people losing their lives to COVID-19. Of those, 228 were from Victoria.

Authorities had previously warned the state's death toll would rise given the increasing number of COVID-19 infections.

There are 7869 active cases in Victoria, of which 1756 are linked to aged care residents and staff.

By contrast, the rest of Australia has fewer than 300 active cases combined.

Some 640 Victorians are in hospital with the virus, with 47 in intensive care and 31 of them on ventilators.

The latest victims are a man in his 50s, a woman in her 60s, two men in their 70s, six women and one man in their 80s, and seven women and one man in their 90s.

Fourteen of the deaths are linked to outbreaks at aged care facilities.

Victoria recorded 322 new COVID-19 cases on Monday - its lowest daily figure since July 29, when it recorded 295 new cases.

But Premier Daniel Andrews urged people not to become complacent about the numbers.

"It is really important that we all stay the course on this," Mr Andrews told reporters on Monday.

"(COVID-19) is a wicked enemy, it will do everything it can to wear you down and that is where it absolutely flourishes."

Metropolitan Melbourne has been under tough stage-four restrictions - including an 8pm curfew - for a week, while regional Victoria is under stage-three measures.

The lockdowns are in place until September 13.

"It is still very early for us to be trying to measure the impacts of stage four, but we're certainly seeing perhaps some greater stability that is a result of the cumulative impact of stage three," Mr Andrews said.

"It's bought some stability in the numbers, but we've got to drive them down so that we can reopen."

The government on Monday launched a new "call-to-test" program for people who cannot easily leave their homes, including the elderly, those with a disability or chronic condition and carers.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said people can call the coronavirus hotline and book a home test after being assessed by a nurse over the phone.

If they live in Melbourne, a tester will visit their home within 48 hours

"This is designed to ensure that approximately 200 vulnerable Victorians every day will have access to this new testing capacity," Ms Mikakos said.

A new advertising campaign featuring coronavirus survivors and frontline health workers was also launched to emphasise the long-term impacts of the disease.

In one of the ads, June describes spending 32 days in ICU with coronavirus.

"I didn't know how serious it was. They thought that I might not live through the first night," she said in one of the ads.

She now has nerve damage in her right hand and fears she may have long-term brain damage.

Sarah, a young mother and midwife, said she still felt "incapacitated" four weeks after contracting the disease.

"I was inflamed to the point I wasn't able to fully inflate my lung or exhale without excruciating pain," she said.

The ad ends with text explaining Sarah has since returned to hospital with complications from the virus.

Australian Associated Press