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False positive cases won’t change Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown

Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino says the state’s false positive cases won’t alter the timetable for the lockdown in Greater Melbourne.

Two cases were initially thought to have been instances of “fleeting transmission” and were cited as evidence of the need for Melbourne’s lockdown extension.

Mr Merlino said the decision to extend the city’s lockdown until Thursday was taken on medical advice and that guidance had not changed.

“The proposition put forward by public health was that we needed this further seven-day period for Greater Melbourne to absolutely run this thing to the ground, and that remains the case,” he said.

“We’ve got a high number of cases, many of them have some concern to public health. There are a number of other cases where we’ve seen fleeting contact and transmission.”

The Acting Premier added that Victoria has asked for a significant increase in vaccine supply from the federal government because demand was still outstripping available stock.

Mr Merlino said the government had sought a doubling of the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine for GPs. The government agreed with the Australian Medical Association that GPs could cope with that level of increase, he said.

The Acting Premier said he had also asked the Commonwealth to provide an additional 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by mid-June.

The state government was administering about 20,000 vaccine doses per day, he said.