25 deaths in Victoria; premier warns outbreak 'not over'

Premier Daniel Andews. Photo: Getty Images
Victoria Premier Daniel Andews. Photo: Getty Images
Twenty-five Victorians have died with Covid-19, a toll record in the state's third wave, prompting Premier Daniel Andrews to warn the outbreak is not over.

Victoria also recorded 1923 new local infections on Wednesday and the death toll from the current outbreak has risen to 272.

Mr Andrews said the "significant number" of deaths showed the pandemic "is not over".

"For people of all ages, all backgrounds, all circumstances, this can be deadly. The greatest protection against that is to get vaccinated," he told reporters on Thursday morning.

He said more detail on the deaths would be revealed at the daily Covid-19 update later on Thursday.

There are 746 people in hospital, with the seven-day average at 780. Of those, 137 are in intensive care with 85 on a ventilator.

The state is managing 22,189 active infections.

About 77 percent of Victorians aged 16 and over are now fully vaccinated after 22,189 doses were administered at state-run hubs on Wednesday, while 82,648 tests were processed.

The latest figures come as health authorities warn there's a high risk of thunderstorm asthma in the state's southwest, Wimmera and Mallee districts, while Melbourne may be moderately affected.

The combination of high grass pollen levels, severe thunderstorms and strong winds on Thursday meant a "large number of people" may develop asthma symptoms quickly, the health department said.

Mr Andrews urged Victorians with asthma to be careful and follow their health plans, as he said there was already pressure on the health system due to Covid-19.

"There's pressure across the board because we do have many more people in hospital with this wildly contagious virus. That's going to be with us for a while," he said.

"Let's not put more pressure on those people than they're already dealing with."

Those at risk are being advised to avoid being outdoors during storms and the winds that precede them, and remember to take preventive medication.

A thunderstorm asthma event in 2016 killed nine people and resulted in thousands more being hospitalised.

Meanwhile, half a million people are being urged to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as statewide restrictions are set to ease once again.

From 6pm Friday, people in metropolitan Melbourne will be allowed to travel to the regions and interstate, masks will not be required outdoors and non-essential retail stores will be able to open.

But about 500,000 Victorians have yet to receive their first vaccine dose, with only 83 percent of people aged in their 20s getting a first jab.


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