Victoria faces an anxious wait for the lockdown to be lifted, as the state finds another 2 locally-acquired COVID-19 cases

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  • Victoria today counted two new locally-acquired cases of coronavirus, with both linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak.
  • The figure arrives four days into the state’s five-day lockdown, and one day after Australia received its first shipment of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines.
  • Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to address the new figures and the state of the lockdown on Tuesday morning.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Victoria today counted two new locally-acquired cases of coronavirus, as the state awaits confirmation its five-day “circuit breaker” lockdown will come to an end on Wednesday.

The Department of Health tallied two new cases connected to Melbourne’s Holiday Inn cluster on Tuesday, saying both were close household contacts of a case previously linked to the hotel quarantine outbreak.

The Holiday Inn cluster, which led Premier Daniel Andrews to announce the strict lockdown on Friday, now stands at 19 cases.

A further two cases were detected in hotel quarantine, bringing Victoria’s active case tally to 25.

Nearly 24,000 test results were received on Monday.

The figures arrive just over halfway through Victoria’s new lockdown, but Andrews has been reluctant to confirm the restrictions will be totally removed at 11.59pm Wednesday.

“I think we are well placed,” Andrews said on Monday.

“However, I’ve never been one to try and make bold predictions. We just have to take this one hour at a time, one day at a time.”

Andrews said health authorities would try to avoid “having any statewide measures, any extra rules,” but maintained lockdowns were an appropriate response to the highly virulent COVID-19 strain detected in the Holiday Inn cluster.

The Premier is expected to face the media for an update on Tuesday morning.

As the state waits for further news, the federal government has celebrated the arrival of Australia’s first batch of COVID-19 vaccines.

Some 142,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine arrived in Sydney on Monday, heralding the start of the nation’s long-awaited vaccine rollout.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the program was slated to begin on February 22, with the first 50,000 doses slated for release to hotel quarantine workers, healthcare professionals, and border staff, and a further 30,000 earmarked for aged care and disability care residents.

The shipment marks the first of 20 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses primed for use in Australia, as the nation prepares to receive some 150 million doses from various suppliers.

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