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Why Victorians shouldn’t be ‘dismayed’ by rise in daily COVID-19 cases

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Despite a rise in the daily number of new COVID-19 cases detected today, an epidemiologist says there are early signs Victoria is beginning to beat the virus.

Chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, Dr Catherine Bennett, told Neil Mitchell the progress may not be linear.

“We’re still going to see our daily numbers move around a bit,” she said.

“I don’t think we should be too dismayed if we feel like it’s heading up again.

“I think we should sit back and try and look at the broader trend, which still is consistent with a significant drop away in transmission.”

Dr Bennett said deciding when to ease restrictions will be based on more than just case numbers.

“It’s actually going to be looking at where the cases are,” she said.

“The more mystery cases you have … the more nervous the government would be about relaxing restrictions.

“I do think we’ll have to get down to the low double-digits for the government to feel like it can be controlled through contact tracing.”

While low double-digits seem a long way off, Dr Bennett it may not be that far away.

“Hopefully Stage 4 will really start to kick in next week,” she said.

“We’ve put the hard yards in … I think it’s paying off.”

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