Media release
24 March 2020

Sixty-four new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed yesterday – bringing the total number of cases in Victoria to 411.

The new cases include 36 men and 27 women (and one being further investigated), with people aged from pre-school age to late eighties.

At the present time, there are six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission. Currently 12 people are in hospital, including two patients in intensive care. One hundred and thirteen people have recovered. More than 25,000 Victorians have been tested to date.

Of the total 411 cases, there have been 350 in metropolitan Melbourne and 41 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation.

Multiple cases have occurred in the regional local government areas of Greater Geelong (10), Ballarat (4), Baw Baw (2), Greater Shepparton (3), Surf Coast (2), Warrnambool (2), Macedon Ranges (2), Mitchell (3) and Mount Alexander (3). Bass Coast, Gannawarra, Hepburn, Latrobe, Mildura, Moira, Moorabool, South Gippsland, Wellington and Yarriambiack have all recorded one case.

A number of earlier cases have been removed following further investigation.

The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14-days.

All people arriving from any international destination must also self-isolate for 14 days as per Commonwealth Government direction.

While most Victorians are voluntarily complying with requests to isolate, Police have strong powers to enforce the direction if it’s required. Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply with a directive could receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said these are unprecedented times. The threat of coronavirus to public health is real and everyone must take social distancing seriously.

“Everyone who’s unwell must isolate themselves and everyone who’s been told they’re in quarantine either as a returned traveller or close contact must do so,” Professor Sutton said.

“Social distancing will save lives".

“Everyone needs to comply with restrictions in place to keep yourself, your loved ones and the whole community safe.

“We urge everyone to stay 1.5 metres away from everyone else, wash your hands often with soap and water and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.”

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398. Large numbers of calls will result in some delays and we ask Victorians for their patience as we work to manage the volume.

Further information is also available at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Media inquiries

Department of Health & Human Services Media Unit (03) 9096 8860 or press@dhhs.vic.gov.au