Victoria records 394 new COVID-19 case, 17 deaths
Victoria has recorded another 394 cases of coronavirus, the state's lowest single-day increase for 12 days, as Premier Daniel Andrews has announced an extra $60 million of mental health funding for Victorians struggling to cope.
Mr Andrews said another 17 Victorians had also died as a result of the pandemic, the worst daily toll since the pandemic started, bringing the total death toll to 210.
Ten of those deaths are linked to aged care settings.
There are 634 people in hospital in the latest figures, including 43 in intensive care.
Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said $59.7 million will be spent bolstering community mental health care to reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments as demand for services surges.
But there will also be funding provided to provide nurses and other healthcare workers with counselling if they need it in the wake of dealing with the pandemic.
"The main focus of today's package is to cope with the surge in demand," he said.
The announcement comes on top of $130 million in funding since March and $12 million pledged by the federal government last week for mental health support services.
Mr Foley said there had been a 9.5 per cent increase in people presenting at hospital emergency departments for self-harm since last year across all age groups. Among people under the age of 18 there was a 33 per cent increase. There has also been a 23.3 per cent increase in people presenting at hospitals because of mental illness.
The funding will provide 144 new mental health beds for at-risk areas of Melbourne, bringing forward recommendations from the mental health commission.
Mr Foley highlighted the Barwon region, the western suburbs, the Melbourne health catchment and the Northern Hospital catchment as the areas with the most demand for mental health funding boosts.
"We knew running into this global pandemic that our mental health system wasn't fit for purpose," Mr Foley said. "And that's why we've held, or we're holding Australia's first Royal Commission into our mental health system to make sure that people get the support where they need it in a timely way."
Mr Andrews said there had been 174 additional cases tied to community transmission, which is where the infection source cannot be traced, since yesterday.
There are 994 active cases in health workers (four fewer than yesterday), and 1478 cases in aged care settings, which is an increase of 90 since yesterday.
A total of 2278 coronavirus cases in Victoria since the start of the pandemic have been from community transmission, with Mr Andrews calling these "mystery cases" the state's "in many ways, our biggest challenge".
More to come
Sign up to our Coronavirus Update newsletter
Get our Coronavirus Update newsletter for the day’s crucial developments and the numbers you need to know. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald’s newsletter here and The Age’s here.
Source: Read Full Article