Meat production to drop as state records eight deaths, 471 new COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus in Victoria: Red meat production to drop

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Premier Daniel Andrews.

Premier Daniel Andrews.

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Red meat production will drop to 66 per cent of normal levels, and poultry to 80 per cent.

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Red meat production centres are set to reduce operations to 66 per cent, as Victoria battles the continuing COVID-19 outbreak.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the change on Thursday, among other details of new stage four restrictions.

Eight more Victorians have died from COVID-19, and another 471 Victorians have been diagnosed with the virus.

Central Victorian meatworks are subject to stricter stage four restrictions otherwise in place only in Melbourne.

Mr Andrews warned Victorians to avoid stockpiling food, saying the government was confident reduced production levels could meet the needs of the Victorian community.

He said plans were about striking a balance between reducing people at work, but also making sure there was enough food on the shelves.

"There's no need for people to be going out, buying up. There's no need for people to be trying to stockpile months and months of food," he said.

"We are trying to get that balance between reducing the amount of movement, therefore reducing the number of cases, but not compromising what you need being on the supermarket shelves."

Mr Andrews said poultry processing facilities would go down to 80 per cent of normal production levels. He said the different life cycle of poultry meant any less would lead to significant shortages, and hundreds of thousands of animals being destroyed.

Several significant Victorian outbreaks have taken place in meat processing facilities.

A cluster at Castlemaine's Don KR facility has been linked to 10 cases.

Thursday's new cases were significantly less than Wednesday's new case tally of 725.

Four of the eight deaths announced on Thursday were linked to aged care.

More than 1500 of Victoria's active virus cases have a link to aged care.

Victoria reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 725 diagnoses.

It comes as regional Victoria entered stage three restrictions for the second time at 11.59pm on Wednesday.

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The story Meat production to drop as state records eight deaths, 471 new COVID-19 cases first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.

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