“I think it is helpful from a psychological point of view, we all can have an internal celebration to see it into double figures,” he said.
“But no, it doesn’t make a huge material difference, it is just a sign if we get there, and I hope we do, that we are still heading in the right direction.”
However, the national death toll from the virus reached another grim milestone, passing 600 on Saturday. The Victorian death toll since the pandemic began now stands at 514.
The new figures come as Victorian health authorities consider measures to allow single people living alone to visit other households during the state’s strict lockdowns.
Nearly 18,000 people have already signed a petition calling for Victoria’s lockdown measures to be amended to allow people living alone to have a nominated friend visit them.
While those with ‘intimate partners’ are able to travel to see their significant other during Melbourne’s stage four lockdown, there is no allowance for those living alone without a romantic partner to have a visitor.
In response to a Twitter user asking about a “household bubble”, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton acknowledged that singles were in a “really hard” situation during the pandemic.
“[The shared bubble is] being talked through and under active consideration,” he wrote in a Tweet on Friday night.
During New Zealand’s lockdown, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern allowed singles to ‘buddy up’ with another person living alone and visit them for support and companionship.
There were 113 additional COVID-19 infections on Friday and 12 deaths which were all connected to aged care.
Meanwhile, active coronavirus case numbers dropped in 75 per cent of Victoria’s postcodes over the past week, analysis of new Health Department data shows.
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Ashleigh McMillan is a breaking news reporter at The Age. Got a story? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org