Victoria records 24 deaths, 149 new cases


Victoria has been hit with its second deadliest day since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with 24 more fatalities since yesterday. 

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos revealed the tragic number this morning, also announcing a further 149 COVID-19 cases.

This comes more than a week after the state had its deadliest day, with 25 fatalities confirmed on August 17.

Today's figure is a noticeable increase from the eight deaths and 148 cases announced on Tuesday.

The state's deadliest day was on August 17 when there were 25 coronavirus fatalities.

The news comes as ccientists have revealed the Australian COVID-19 vaccine candidate is performing "better than expected" in pre-clinical trials. 

The vaccine, which is being produced by scientists from the University of Queensland, has been tested on hamsters with a very positive outcomes.

Keith Chappell from the UQ School of Chemistry told the ABC that a single dose of the vaccine provided a strong level of protection from coronavirus in the animals.

"Around half of the animals had no virus at all detected in the lungs and the other half had reduced levels.," he said.

"We saw a marked reduction in the severity of the disease in the hamsters.

"The protection we saw after a single dose was better than we expected."

The early stages of human trials have already begun, with 120 recruits given a single dose of the vaccine with Mr Chappell saying there are "absolutely no safety concerns with all the participants dosed so far".