55,000 people have been tested for coronavirus as part of Victoria’s testing blitz

55,000 people have been tested for coronavirus as part of Victoria’s testing blitz

Words by Kate Streader

The Victorian government is on track to meet its target of testing 100,000 people in two weeks.

Last week, the Victorian government launched ten new drive-thru coronavirus testing sites as part of a massive testing blitz aimed at testing 100,000 Victorians in two weeks. In less than half that timeframe, over 55,000 tests have already been conducted.

Despite state governments in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales having already begun easing restrictions, as well as Prime Minister Scott Morrison offering an “early mark” from shutdowns and social distancing late last week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is sticking firmly to the scheduled date of May 11 before reviewing restrictions.

The newly-launched testing blitz will help to inform the Victorian government’s next steps, with Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton explaining that increased testing will allow for a clearer picture of where the community stands in containing the virus and how much we are slowing its spread.

The National Cabinet has also enforced increased testing as a pre-requisite for a potential easing of restrictions.

“With every test we’re getting vital information, and that puts us in a better position to consider slowly easing some of the restrictions that we have in place,” said Andrews.

At the time of writing, Victoria has 1,406 confirmed cases of coronavirus after 22 new cases were confirmed over the weekend. 19 of the new cases have been linked to an outbreak at an abattoir, with a further two cases pertaining to returned overseas travellers. The other case is still under investigation.

Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos encourages Victorians with even the slightest symptoms to get tested. These include fever, chills, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or a runny nose.

For more information and to find your nearest testing site, visit the DHHS website

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