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Covid-19 Australia: Victoria records 847 cases as state delays reopening after missing vaccine target

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Victoria has registered 847 new Covid-19 cases and one death, and the next set of restrictions is being eased a week later than planned after the state missed the vaccination deadline.

Health Secretary Martin Foley has admitted the state is unlikely to meet 80 percent of the eligible population’s first dose of coverage by Sunday, as initially forecast, with a figure currently standing at 76.3 percent.

“We would expect that, certainly by mid-to-late next week, we will achieve that,” Foley told reporters on Friday.

‘These forecasts bounce around based on all kinds of measures. Let’s all redouble our efforts this weekend.”

37,220 vaccines have been administered and 59,342 Covid-19 tests have been conducted in the past 24 hours.

Victoria has registered 847 new Covid-19 cases and next set of restrictions to be eased a week later than planned after state missed vaccination deadline

Anti-lockdown protesters disrupted home orders in Melbourne after staging series of rallies throughout the week

Anti-lockdown protesters disrupted home orders in Melbourne after staging series of rallies throughout the week

When that milestone is reached, Melburnians will be given additional freedoms, including the resumption of golf, tennis and cricket for up to five fully vaccinated adults and the extension of the city’s travel limit from 10km to 15km.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the original roadmap goal was “ambitious” and that he would consider a day-to-day “countdown” to future targets of 70 and 80 percent double dose based on updated data.

“We need to balance how people pick up on those specific dates when they’re clearly on the move,” he said.

It comes as a significant number of police and riot police dispersed up to 80 protesters in Northcote on Friday afternoon and made 31 arrests.

Families and children enjoying the big holiday of the AFL final watched as a scuffle took place outside Northcote Plaza and angry protesters were led away by police in nearby All Nations Park.

Others in the park were stopped and asked for identification and their reasons for leaving the house, while helicopters flew over and nearby streets were cordoned off by police cars.

More than 200 people were arrested in Melbourne as part of the fifth day of the recurring protests, and police expect to impose 215 fines for violating health regulations.

Victoria registered 733 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, including a man who attended Wednesday’s protest in Melbourne’s CBD, which centered on the Shrine of Remembrance.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the original goal of the roadmap was

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the original goal of the roadmap was “ambitious” and that he would consider a day-to-day “countdown” to future targets of 70 and 80 percent double dose based on updated data.

Victoria registered 733 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, including a man who attended Wednesday's protest in Melbourne's CBD, which centered on the Shrine of Remembrance

Victoria registered 733 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, including a man who attended Wednesday’s protest in Melbourne’s CBD, which centered on the Shrine of Remembrance

He is being treated in hospital and a public health investigation is underway.

Some Victoria police officers have been identified as close contacts of the man and will have to place themselves in isolation.

Professor Sutton said it would take a few weeks to find out if the protest was a super-widespread event.

The protests initially started on Monday against the mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the construction sector and the closure of tea rooms on the construction site, but turned into a broader anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination movement.

“They think everything will be solved by taking a horse deworming tablet, Ivermectin, which gives you the chance and puts some people in the hospital,” said Prof Sutton.

“Let’s not pretend these are rational individuals – they are absolutely crazy.”

An almost empty Flinders Street Station with police officers patrolling the normally busy intersection

An almost empty Flinders Street Station with police officers patrolling the normally busy intersection

Professor Sutton said it would take a few weeks to find out if the protest was a super-spreading event (pictured, Victorian police officers arrest a man as part of their operations in response to ongoing anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne)

Professor Sutton said it would take a few weeks to find out if the protest was a super-spreading event (pictured, Victorian police officers arrest a man as part of their operations in response to ongoing anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne)

Meanwhile, Mr. Foley announced that next week the state will receive 32,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government, which will be distributed to state-run clinics.

“Given some issues surrounding Pfizer’s delivery, particularly in the second half of October, we will be moving more of our pop-up sites to Moderna in the coming weeks,” he said.

Foley said the vaccine will largely go to the Palm Plaza pop-up clinic in Dandenong, where a COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow.

Approximately 300,000 doses will also be distributed to 700 pharmacies across the state, with a focus on the COVID-19-affected north and west of Melbourne.

A woman in her 80s from Moreland in the north of the city became Victoria’s latest corona death on Friday, taking the toll of the current outbreak to 21.

Vaccination center set up in Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building as state falls behind schedule to allow 80 percent of residents to get their first shot by Sunday

Vaccination center set up in Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building as state falls behind schedule to allow 80 percent of residents to get their first shot by Sunday

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