One of the experts who helped build Australia’s COVID-19 strategy has said Victoria should consider locking down for 8 weeks or brace for continual outbreaks and changes to restrictions until a vaccine is found.

Following a rise in the state’s cases, with 117 recorded in 7 days, experts have prepared a special report that says they were not surprised by Victoria’s plan to continue with relaxing restrictions.

Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, has continued to maintain that Australia had not made a mistake by not pursuing elimination.

Professor Tony Blakely, an epidemiologist with Melbourne University who worked on the report has said that, while he doesn’t endorse the plan, the only way for Victoria to get control of the virus and continue to relax restrictions further, is to lowdown for up to eight 8 weeks.

“The discussion that should be happening behind closed doors – and it’s a really unpleasant one – is whether there is a strong case for Victoria to go back into lockdown,” he said.“Then all of Australia will have eliminated the virus, or be close to eliminating it, and we can go back to normal life. Otherwise, this will happen again and again.”

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said on Monday that the government was considering a hard lockdown on Melbourne’s COVID-19 hotspots, similar to the statewide “stay at home” restrictions in March.