Victoria has recorded 394 new coronavirus cases and 17 deaths overnight – the highest number of people to die in a single day in Australia since the pandemic began.
Premier Daniel Andrews said 10 of the deaths were connected to aged care outbreaks.
The people who died were two men in their 50s, four men in their 70s, four women and two men in their 80s, and two women and three men in their 90s.
Australia’s previous highest daily death toll was 15 deaths, recorded just last week on Wednesday.
The state government has announced an extra $59.7 million will be allocated towards Victoria’s mental health services.
The funding includes $250,000 for an existing counselling service that is used by healthcare workers, including nurses and midwives.
“This is a very challenging set of circumstances – particularly those nurses and personal care workers who have gone into aged care settings in fundamental crisis,” Andrews said.
“You can’t unsee what you’ve seen. There is a degree of trauma, a degree of previously unknown levels of really, really challenging circumstances.”
Police and soldiers patrol a running track while people exercise in Melbourne on 7 August 2020. Photo: AFP
Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said the government wanted to keep people experiencing mental health issues away from emergency departments.
“Emergency departments are busy at the best of times, particularly now in the height of a pandemic,” he said.
“We want to make sure that we keep those people who need support for mental illness with the support that they need in the community.”
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