A Melbourne woman, whose mum caught coronavirus from the city's hardest-hit aged care home, has detailed the horrific situation the family were left in.
Angela Vukovic's 81-year-old mother Chrysanthi was in St Basil's Homes For the Aged, in the north Melbourne suburb of Fawkner, until late last week.
St Basil's has lost nine residents to coronavirus and 80 others have been evacuated from the home and taken to hospital.
Vukovic told ABC's 7.30 her mum was one of the first residents to test positive.
"I have been crying for days. We know Covid is basically a killer for the elderly," Vukovic told the ABC programme.
"She was one of the first few that tested positive. My mother was at the end of the building. No one could hear her. She was screaming her lungs out for someone to come and help her."
Eventually, Vukovic managed to get onto a Covid specialist in the building and her mother was transported to hospital. Chrysanthi was severely dehydrated and needed oxygen when she arrived at hospital over the weekend but is slowly recovering from the virus.
Victoria yesterday recorded 295 new coronavirus cases and nine new deaths – and although the drop in case numbers is good news, the level of community transmission is causing health authorities concern.
Two people in the 90s, five in their 80s, one in their 70s and one in their 60s died from the coronavirus in Victoria overnight Tuesday. Seven of those nine are from aged care homes. There are now 307 Victorians in hospital, 41 in intensive care.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews is at pains to make young people take coronavirus seriously.
In a stern tweet on Wednesday night, the premier reminded Victorians there are 26 people in hospital under the age of 40.
"Five are in intensive care. No idea when – or if – they'll make it home," Andrews said.
The usual ABC News Breakfast crew won't be on air today after their floor manager's wife tested positive to coronavirus.
Host Michael Rowland confirmed the news on Twitter last night and said the move "goes above and beyond Health Department requirements, but this precaution is being taken for the wellbeing of other ABC staff in Melbourne and in the interest of public safety".
Rowland and his co-host Lisa Millar will likely only have a day or two off from the show while their floor manager awaits his test.
"Importantly, Joe's wife Laura is okay, as is Joe. The show will of course air as usual tomorrow, with Ben Knight and Madeleine Morris at the desk. [You may even see a couple of cameos].
"We will update you with any developments. Thanks for your understanding!"
An expert says there is "no way" Victoria's lockdown will end within three weeks as initially announced.
Victorians were expected to emerge from a six-week lockdown on August 16 but Melbourne University epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely believes authorities will need at least two extra weeks beyond that to get coronavirus cases down.
Blakely told news.com.au that outbreaks in the aged care sector have contributed to continuing high numbers and said there was "no way" lockdown would end within three weeks.
"Things have not gone the way we hoped," he said.
"Numbers are still high because of essential workers. It will take longer to pull the numbers back because there are cases in so many different segments."
Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck told the ABC the government as a whole needs to take responsibility for what Professor Brendan Murphy today called serious deficiencies in Victoria's aged care sector.
"I think we all collectively have to take responsibility for that as a government," Colbeck said.
"Some of the things that happened at St Basil's with the very rapid change that was required weren't acceptable. So we'll have to take responsibility for that.
"And of course, there were significant efforts on behalf of all of those involved to try and rectify the situation. But contemplating the circumstances we were faced where the entire workforce, including management, were isolating in a very short period of time coming up with the new workforce and a new management structure was a very difficult set of circumstances.
"And we didn't get it all right."