Melbourne's coronavirus crisis is now so bad that specialist medical teams built to handle humanitarian disasters are on their way.

With 769 active cases linked to aged-care homes, Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed that Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) are being sent to Victoria. He says they are the "best of the best".

Hunt added: "They've assisted in quarantine, they've assisted in Western Australia, they've assisted in activities around the country and they are the best of the best. They are the SAS of the medical world. Furthermore, we have put out a call for interstate nursing staff, South Australia in particular has taken the lead on that, they are formulating those resources."

Hunt says the federal Government will also send five million masks to Victoria and request interstate nurses.


Victoria recorded 384 new coronavirus cases and six new deaths in the past 24 hours, after a record number of cases was announced on Monday. New South Wales recorded 14 new cases yesterday.

Some of Melbourne's worst affected care homes have had almost all their staff asked to stay at home because of virus fears, says Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth.

He told the Today show just now this was one of key reasons some homes were left so exposed.

"It hasn't been widely reported that some of these facilities that are most affected by this, have had literally the majority of their workforce including their senior nurses and managers asked to not attend work because of their contact with coronavirus disease," he said.

"Now, we have been working with aged care facilities now for the entire pandemic.

"No business in Australia has a business continuity plan that accounts for their entire workforce not being able to go to work.

"I think in a lot of ways that has led some of the most affected institutions to where they are now."

Currently, about 769 of the 4775 active cases in Victoria are linked to aged care facilities.