Vic posts 5,611 COVID cases, three deaths

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Victoria has recorded a further 5,611 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths, as ambulance delays continue and the state welcomes its first international tourists.

The new infections include 4,104 from rapid antigen tests and 1,507 from PCR lab tests, the health department said Monday.

There are 45,278 active cases in Victoria, down more than 1,400 from Sunday.

A total of 361 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, three more than the day before, including 49 in intensive care and 11 requiring ventilation.

More than 55% of adults in the state have received three doses of the vaccine.

The latest figures come as delays continue to plague Ambulance Victoria.

A 74-year-old Rowville man collapsed with severe COVID symptoms on January 30 and waited nearly six hours for paramedics to arrive, the Herald Sun reported.

A spokeswoman for Ambulance Victoria said they would contact the family to understand their concerns and review the case to help better understand what happened and why.

“Ambulance Victoria takes our commitment to providing the best care to every patient very seriously,” she said.

The AAP contacted the state government for a response.

Meanwhile, Victoria welcomed its first international tourists in two years as a flight from Singapore landed at Melbourne Airport around 8.30am on Monday.

Flights from Phuket, Auckland, Delhi, Doha, London, Dubai and Tokyo are due to land throughout the day.

Melbourne Airport chief executive Lorie Argus said the arrivals marked a “critical turning point for aviation”.

“International airlines are already reacting positively to border changes, with a number looking to resume or increase flights to Melbourne,” she said.

She called on the federal government to remove all pre-departure testing requirements for fully vaccinated international arrivals, to ensure the travel experience is “as easy and stress-free as possible”.

The arrivals also mark the first day of operation for the state’s new $200 million COVID-19 quarantine center, which will welcome its first cohort of unvaccinated international travelers on Monday.

The resort has trained around 560 staff with an open-air design meant to eliminate many of the challenges posed by hotel quarantine.

Accommodating up to 1,000 residents, its self-contained cabins allow for constant fresh airflow, individual ventilation systems and CCTV monitoring.

The hub’s cabin-style accommodation, which is divided into four villages, includes entry and exit points via exterior decks to prevent the spread of the virus along shared hallways.

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