As numbers surge, pandemic declaration extended for three months

By Our Reporter
Premier Daniel Andrews. Pic source: TV grab

As part of Victoria’s continued response to the coronavirus pandemic, Premier Daniel Andrews has extended the pandemic declaration to apply to the state of Victoria from 11.59pm Tuesday 12 April for three months.

The declaration was made under section 165AE of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 after consultation with and consideration of advice from the Minister for Health and Acting Chief Health Officer.

In making the declaration the Premier was satisfied on reasonable grounds there remains a serious risk to public health throughout Victoria due to the coronavirus disease, including recent increases in case numbers and the anticipated BA.2 wave, an official press release said.

This risk requires continued public health and other protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission and hospitalisation.

Over 94 per cent of Victorians over 12 years have received two vaccine doses against coronavirus and over 66 per cent of Victorians over 18 years who have recieved a third dose.

Continuing to provide access to drive up the rate of third dose vaccinations remains a public health priority – a third dose significantly reduces your chances of getting COVID-19, passing it on to others or going to hospital.

The new extension will expire at 11.59pm, 12 July 2022 and subsequent extensions can last for up to three months.

A pandemic declaration gives the Minister for Health the authority to make pandemic orders he considers reasonably necessary to protect public health after considering the Chief Health Officer’s advice and other relevant factors, including social and economic factors.

After the first  extension to the pandemic declaration the Independent Pandemic Management Advisory Committee of experts and community representatives was formed to advise on pandemic response and management.

The Statement of Reasons, and the advice of the  CHO and the Minister for Health will be tabled in Parliament.

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