After days of dealing with declining COVID-19 infection numbers, Victoria appears to have passed the peak of the latest wave of coronavirus, until the new numbers were announced on Thursday.

“There will be significant concern across the community and I am obviously concerned to see these numbers increase,” Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday.

“It is not unexpected in some ways, when you got have so many cases in private sector aged care, when you have so many cases connected to big outbreaks in specific workplaces.”

Thursday's announcement of 723 cases is a reflection of people who caught the virus about a week ago, as it is now seven to ten days since the first positive cases emerged at various aged care homes.

It is currently too soon to know when the state will reach its peak of COVID-19 infections.

Lockdowns and restrictions have almost brought effective reproduction under control, but with numbers Premier Daniel Andrews said any value of more than one was “far too high for us to see these numbers fall”. 

“It is still hovering at around one, or just above,” Mr Andrews said.

“The problem you get into is when you have so many cases even a Ref of one – the number that each positive case infects – that will continue to see numbers within a band relatively stable, but not coming down.

“Until we can get only every second or every third person infecting someone else, we won’t see these numbers come down.”

With more than 2,100 people working in Victoria's public health contact tracing team, Premier Daniel Andrews predicted it would soon grow further.

“It is a massive challenge. There is no disputing … it is a very, very significant challenge,” Mr Andrews said.

“I have always been clear that if more needs to be done it will be.

“If there is more recruitment, if there’s more people that need to some in, we will do that.

“But when you have this many positive cases it is a significant challenge.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.