Daniel Andrews says “today is a good day” and has spoken of his strategy to guide Victoria out of lockdown as cases fall.
Victoria’s daily coronavirus cases number have dropped below 100, with 94 new infections recorded on Saturday alongside 18 deaths.
The last time the state recorded fewer than 100 cases was 55 days ago on July 5.
“Every day these numbers are falling, is a good day,” Mr Andrews said.
“Every day we see the strategy working is a good day.”
RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus updates
RELATED: Sydney pub hit with $10k in fines
But the good news has been overshadowed by a sombre milestone, with Victoria’s fatality toll now passing 500.
The Premier said authorities continued to devise a strategy out of Melbourne’s stage four lockdown and the rest of the state’s stage three restrictions.
“What we hope we will be able to do is outline a plan that is not just for the short term but is a plan that gives people as much certainty as possible,” he said.
“We will give people the clearest sense of how these restrictions will be eased, what that COVID normal looks like and how things will run right the way through until vaccine comes.”
Mr Andrews has been reluctant to say when that roadmap out of lockdown will be revealed.
“We just need a bit more time to be able to be confident that we are, in fact, defeating this and that we can open up, gradually, steadily, safely.”
But he continues to indicate that details will be shared soon.
“I wish I could make all those announcement today but it would not be responsible. It would not be accurate, frankly, for me to pretend it is here quite yet.”
Mr Andrews pointed out that even when lockdown is over, there will still be new cases of coronavirus.
“There will be outbreaks. That is part of the COVID normal,” he said.
“Hopefully they are low numbers and hopefully we, it really staying the course now, can defeat this to such an extent that those numbers are very, very low and can be dealt with on their merits as individual cases and outbreaks rather than having to go to whole of summer, whole of state, whole of city rule.”
The reality is the “ultimate fix” to the coronavirus crisis is a vaccine.
But no one can predict when it will be ready given it has to be “proven, manufactured and administered”.
Until then, Mr Andrews was blunt in setting expectations that when the plan is enacted, things won’t totally return to normal.
Victorians will have to live with COVID-19 in a way that’s safe and reduces the chances of further outbreaks.