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Claims coronavirus deaths no worse than the flu are ‘absurd’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has slammed groundless opinion that coronavirus is no worse than the flu as “absurd”, following revelations more people died of influenza this time last year.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer has slammed groundless opinion that coronavirus is no worse than the flu as "absurd", following revelations more people died of influenza this time last year.

Professor Brett Sutton dismissed common chatter which has been circulating in the community that Victoria's 29 COVID-19 deaths were "not much" as at least 37 people had died from flu in Victoria at the end of June in 2019.

Two more Victorians lost their lives to coronavirus overnight, both being two men in their 80s.

READ MORE: Victoria records largest ever coronavirus increase, with 317 new cases

Professor Sutton explained the state's 29 deaths were concerning considering stage three restrictions were in place across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

"I'm still reading the counterfactor that 29 deaths is not much compared to an average flu season," he said.

"These are the deaths you have when you have your controls in place. When you do not have your controls in place, and the restrictions that we have applied across metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and across the state to some degree, you get 1,000 cases a day, 10,000 or more cases a day, as has occurred in some countries, and you get up to 1,000 deaths per day, as has occurred in countries in Europe, in Brazil, and elsewhere.

"So the idea that 29 deaths is nothing, and that we can lift all restrictions and that we can let it run, is absurd.

"It's an exponential growth in cases when there aren't restrictions in place."

READ:  Virgin Australia flight now COVID-19 transmission site

Professor Sutton warned Victoria may not have yet hit its peak of coronavirus infections and if the state did not drive virus numbers down, there could be "hundreds or thousands of deaths" like overseas.

Coronavirus: More outbreaks in Victorian aged care homes

Victoria recorded its highest ever virus spike, with 317 new infections reported overnight.

A number of Victoria's COVID-19 deaths have been linked to outbreaks at aged care facilities, professor Sutton describing it as  "tragic" but not "unexpected".

There are 39 aged care facilities in Victoria which now have confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Premier Daniel Andrews reminded Victorians COVID-19 was a "wildly infectious" virus that could not be underestimated.

"If we pretend it is over because we want it to be over, all we'll be doing is spreading the virus, seeing more people in hospital and sadly more people will pass away as a result of this virus," he said.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/claims-coronavirus-deaths-no-worse-than-flu-absurd-victoria-chief-health-officer-says/60a16135-f5ec-4bdc-a414-02affd7bdb16

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