First, a follow-up from the AAP on the latest developments in the Australian state of Victoria.
Victoria wakes up with a new health minister, but Melbourne residents’ minds are about the freedoms that will return to their restricted lives.
The country’s “road map” announced in early September on Sunday is expected to be revised after better-than-expected progress in combating the spread of the virus.
Many will, once again, hang on to the prime minister’s words in what has become a grim tradition for heavy Sunday press conferences.
The average daily circulation for two weeks of 23.6 is much lower than the average of 30-50 cases that health authorities were aiming for.
Under the original plans that go into effect from Monday, the curfew will remain at 9 pm, in addition to the 5-kilometer travel limit and fast food only for restaurants and cafes.
Restrictions on public gatherings would facilitate allowing up to five people from a maximum of two families to meet outside for social interaction.
Childcare and kindergarten will reopen and some schoolchildren will return to classes in Term 4.
The Victorian opposition is calling for the rules to be relaxed even further, saying the curfew should go, and all school students must return and reopen restaurants, retail stores and offices.
It was an exciting few days in Victorian politics, culminating in the resignation of Jenny Mikakos as Secretary of Health Saturday morning.
By the afternoon, mental health minister Daniel Andrews had announced Martin Foley as her replacement and was sworn in.
Mikakos resignation came a day after she heard her boss tell the hotel’s Quarantine Investigation Board that she was in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, which was ultimately responsible for administering the quarantine system.
Victoria’s hotel quarantine program failed because private security guards violated infection control, causing the virus to spread into the community and a devastating second wave.
To date, 782 Victoria residents have died from the virus and the entire state has undergone strict workforce closures, school closures and prolonged social isolation.
Mikakos wrote: “I never wanted to leave an unfinished job but in light of the prime minister’s statement … and the fact that there are elements with whom I strongly disagree … I cannot continue to serve in his government.”
I am disappointed that my integrity sought to undermine.
I deeply regret the situation the Victorians found themselves in.
In good conscience, I don’t think my actions led them.
Mikakos will also resign from the Victorian Parliament.
The prime minister, like all leaders who attended prior to the $ 3 million investigation, told the board of directors on Friday that he did not know who made the decision to use private security guards.
He backed down on journalists’ suggestions on Saturday that he should resign, saying he would not run away from the challenge and would remain focused on fighting the pandemic and reforming the state’s economy.
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