Victorian health authorities prepare for the arrival of more than 1,000 passengers from overseas flights this weekend, including some already diagnosed with COVID-19.

April 11, 2020 17:52:53
Victorian health authorities are preparing for the arrival of more than 1,000 passengers from overseas flights this weekend, including some already diagnosed with COVID-19.
Key points:

  • The latest patient to die from COVID-19 was a man in his 80s
  • Police issued 183 fines for breaching coronavirus restrictions
  • An L-plater was issued a fine after breath-testing three-times the legal blood alcohol limit

Flights from Peru, India and Uruguay will bring around 1,200 Australians into Melbourne Airport this weekend, including passengers from the coronavirus-stricken Greg Mortimer cruise ship.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen said up to 70 per cent of the passengers on the Greg Mortimer were infected with coronavirus, some of whom would be on the flight from Uruguay to Melbourne.
Dr Van Diemen said while the passengers had been certified as “fit to fly” before boarding the flight, authorities were ready if passengers’ conditions deteriorated during the flight.
“We’re not leaving anything to chance and being absolutely certain that we’re prepared for any eventuality that might occur on the plane,” she said.
Health authorities will check in with the flight two hours before it lands on Sunday to ensure that ambulances and field emergency medical officers can prepare for the situation.
Upon arrival, every passenger will be assessed to determine whether they require testing and hospitalisation.
The remaining passengers will be taken to the same hotel to undergo their mandatory 14-day quarantine as returned international travellers.
Some New Zealanders on the flight will be allowed to take a charter flight home to undergo their fortnight quarantine in their own country, Dr Van Diemen said.
Victorian death toll rises as fines spike over Easter
It comes as Victoria’s death toll from the pandemic rose to 14, after a man in his 80s died in hospital.
“My thoughts are with his family,” Ms Mikakos said when she announced the latest death on Twitter this morning.
She said there were 118 confirmed cases that may indicate community transmission and 44 people in hospital, including 15 in intensive care.
Ms Mikakos said 986 people had recovered from the virus and more than 67,000 Victorians had been tested.
Meanwhile, the number of fines issued by Victoria Police for breaching coronavirus restrictions has increased substantially at the start of the Easter long weekend.
A police statement issued this morning said in the 24 hours to 11:00pm last night, officers working on Operation Sentinel had issued 183 fines while conducting 893 spot checks at homes, businesses and non-essential services.
Police issued only 98 fines during a similar period on Thursday, 78 on Wednesday and 114 on Tuesday.
People continue to party despite coronavirus restrictions
The State Government and police have repeatedly called on Victorians to stay home during the long weekend including those legally allowed to visit holiday homes they own in order to consolidate the state’s success in the struggle against the coronavirus.
“With three dedicated operations running across the state this weekend (Operation Sentinel, Operation Nexus and Operation Shielding), Victoria Police has a highly visible presence on the streets, roads and around our biggest retail precincts to identify blatant breaches of the Chief Medical Officer’s directives, as well as dangerous driver behaviour,” a police spokesman said.
Police said examples of breaches identified during the period included:

  • Seven mates found drinking within a schoolyard
  • Multiple instances of private gatherings at residential properties
  • Four women caught partying at a short-term rental property
  • Five people intercepted in a rideshare vehicle

Fines for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions were also issued to offenders on top of other matters including dealing drugs, the spokesman said.
Vic COVID-19 snapshot

  • Confirmed cases so far: 1,265
  • Deaths: 14
  • Suspected community transmissions: 118
  • Cases in hospital: 44
  • Intensive care patients: 15
  • Recovered patients: 986
  • More than 67,000 Victorians tested

Updated Saturday, April 11Latest information from the Victorian Government
A learner driver was fined for breaching coronavirus restrictions and drink driving after crashing his car at Keysborough in Melbourne’s south-east overnight.
An off-duty officer reported a car hitting traffic lights on the Dandenong Bypass around 10:30pm and then saw the two occupants remove the number plates.
The 21-year-old driver was breath tested and returned a reading of 0.135.
Police also found the learner driver was not being properly supervised.
The Queensland man was fined $1,600 for breaching coronavirus restrictions and charged with drink driving and refusing to a take a drug test.
He will also have to pay the traffic lights repair bill.
A number of the fines related to a protest yesterday in which refugee activists drove a convoy past a hotel in Melbourne’s north where refugees and asylum seekers are being detained.
Police arrested one refugee activist and fined 26 others a total of nearly $43,000.
What you need to know about coronavirus:
First posted
April 11, 2020 11:35:51
stories from Victoria