“It is basically holding the whole of Victoria hostage to something which is practically unachievable, and is doing more damage in the meantime,” he said.
“The amount of mental health harm, the amount of suicide attempts and certainly the number of suicides is going up because of these lockdowns.”
Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien has accused Premier Daniel Andrews of holding the state “hostage”. Picture: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra is calling on Mr Andrews to provide businesses and residents with a “realistic” roadmap out of lockdown to give “hope” to those struggling.
“This lockdown is six and out for many, but for those that make it through, we need a plan,” he said.
“The state needs to articulate a reopening plan based on national cabinet’s road map and Doherty Institute modelling.”
Victoria’s sixth lockdown set to be extended by at least one week
Mr Guerra said a “bold” but detailed plan needed to be devised by the government.
“We are on track to have 70 per cent of people with their first jab in mid-October,” he said.
“Why don’t we be bold and declare that from Caulfield Cup day and beyond crowds at race days can be at 50 per cent.”
The Premier announced on Sunday the lockdown will be extended after Victoria recorded 92 COVID-19 infections, the highest single rise since September 3, 2020. Picture: Getty Images
The state was scheduled to emerge from lockdown on Thursday but a continual rise in cases and mystery infections meant Mr Andrews was forced to extend the stay-at-home health orders.
“We still have too many cases that are in the community for too long for us to be able to open up,” he said during Sunday’s COVID-19 press conference.
“We acted early but I’m not here to tell people this is easy, it’s not, it’s bloody hard.”
Calls for Victoria to implement ‘compassion’ watchdog amid lockdown restrictions
Victoria recorded their single highest daily cases with 92 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday.
The Premier said he would announce any changes to the current restrictions some time this week.
He stressed numbers needed to be “as low as we can get them” before Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton would advise on what rules could be relaxed.
Melbourne sits as the second city or country who have spent the most time in lockdown with 211 days.
Residents from the Argentinian city, Buenos Aires, have been locked down for 234 days, London comes in second at 207 days and the Czech Republic also hit the 200 mark.
It was the biggest day since their second wave where they recorded 112 cases on September 3 2020.
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