By Andrew Cantwell
As Victoria celebrated a Covid milestone on Friday 13 November – 14 straight days with no new cases and no deaths – Greater Dandenong sat at the top of the list of the state’s remaining active coronavirus cases.
But with recorded active case numbers so low, Greater Dandenong’s tally of two was actually something to smile about. With no new cases recorded, those two were due to drop out of the stats over the weekend.
The city had two of the three remaining active cases in the state. The other case was in neighbouring Casey City.
Since the first outbreak of the virus in January, Greater Dandenong had carried very low numbers, according to daily DHHS figures, up until the second wave hit in mid-July. The city recorded just 39 cases in total between Australia Day and 16 July.
Just a week later, on 23 July, the tally of cases was approaching 100.
And two weeks later, on 7 August, Greater Dandenong had recorded 280 total cases, with 202 of those considered active.
Those active cases peaked at 211 on 17 August, a month after the second wave struck, with total cases on that day sitting at 384.
Greater Dandenong would go on to record 542 total cases by 16 October, with that number revised down to 540 by 13 November.
Active cases dropped sharply from the peak in mid-August, dipping below 20 cases by 20 September.
But those last cases have lingered for almost two months, dropping below 10 on 15 October and trickling down to the last pair by last Friday.
Greater Dandenong’s tangle with the virus over the four months of lockdown demonstrate what the experts have said about Covid-19 … that it is incredibly easy to catch, but incredibly hard to shake off.