Victoria records 179 new coronavirus cases, nine more deaths

Victoria’s chief health officer says he’d “love” for the state to be recording below 50 cases by the end of Melbourne’s six-week stage four lockdown period.

While professor Brett Sutton admitted September 13 was a “long way away”, he told reporters a benchmark of below 50 cases would be a positive sign.

“I’d love for us to be below 50 and I’d be really gratified in single-digit cases but I’m not convinced they will be – it is possible but significant challenges stand in our way to get there – if we have got single figures by then I’d be very relaxed,” he said.

It comes after Victoria recorded 179 new infections overnight, the state’s lowest daily total since July 13.

Tragically nine more people died, taking the state’s death toll to 385.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the figure below 200 came “a little quicker” than he expected.

“While tomorrow’s numbers will be for tomorrow I think we’re all pleased to see a one in front of these additional case numbers,” he said.

“Victorians are in growing numbers doing the right thing and a might good job in very difficult circumstances, but there is no room for complacency – we can’t assume this is over – this is an ultra marathon and we aren’t at the halfway point yet.”

Seven of today’s nine deaths were linked to aged-care.

There are 626 people in hospital and 40 in intensive care.

Active cases in healthcare workers has drastically reduced, with 668 recorded, while there are still 1732 infections in the state’s aged-care facilities.