The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 322 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours and 19 deaths – marking the state's highest single-day death toll so far.

Yesterday, was the Australian state's second-worst day for deaths, with 17 more fatalities across the state and 394 new cases. The previous highest daily death toll was 15 fatalities on August 5.

The deaths mean Australia has lost 314 people to the disease since the pandemic began.

One positive to take from the figures is that the number of new cases is continuing to steadily decrease since last Wednesday's peak.


Deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said health authorities have "some confidence" case numbers will start to drop in Melbourne in the coming days.

"We have to look at those figures on a day-by-day basis. We will obviously be very happy when we see them head consistently south," he told ABC Breakfast.

"What is clear is that the Stage 3 restrictions and now the Stage 4 restrictions have led to a plateau and there is every expectation that the restrictions have restricted movement enough that the basic reproductive number is going to fall substantially below one and we're going to start to see the numbers come down.

Subscribe to Premium

"But what we can't have is the disappointment or the rollercoaster ride of them going from 390 to 450 and up and down again.

"So it is important to wait for the trend to emerge, but we do have some confidence in the coming days to a week. We will see those numbers come down."

One new case in Queensland

There was some good news from Queensland, where only one new case – picked up in hotel quarantine – was detected yesterday.

Health minister Steven Miles said this means the state has managed to avoid a widespread outbreak.


He said it also means the state can re-open its aged-care centres to visitors

"It means we have avoided the risks of a widespread outbreak from those returning cases from Melbourne and it means that the chief health officer can now act to lift restrictions on aged care," he said.

"Of course, that's in contrast to the rest of the country. It was Australia's deadliest weekend from Covid-19 and that should serve as a reminder to us all that the risk here are still real and they're close to home and we continue."