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Covid Victoria: 7126 new cases, 28 deaths; Melbourne’s March madness of events

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A spike in Covid deaths has been announced as life resumes in Melbourne CBD, with the state also close to reaching a vaccine milestone.

Victoria has recorded 7126 new Covid cases, along with 28 deaths.

It’s the biggest spike in deaths since 41 fatalities were announced on February 5.

Currently 264 people are being treated for Covid in hospital, including 37 receiving intensive care, five of whom are on a ventilator.

There are 41,162 cases across the state, with more than 23,000 Victorians undergoing a PCR test on Tuesday.

Nearly 60 per cent of Victorians aged over 18 have received a triple-dose of the Covid vaccine.

MARCH MADNESS AS MELBOURNE STAGES COMEBACK

As the sun sets on another sensational summer, Melbourne is braced for an awesome Autumn of world class events.

From Flemington to Formula 1, Harry Potter to Hamilton, fashion festivals to flower exhibitions, Graceland to gastronomical delights — and, of course, the biggest show in town, footy — Melbourne’s Mad March is back.

Melbourne Fashion Festival, launching on Thursday, kicks off the season with style.

“It’s wonderful to see Melbourne coming back to life,” the festival’s acting chief executive Yolanda Finch said.

Celebrity chef Shane Delia said alongside AFL high-flyers and Australian GP, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (March 25 to April 9) will sizzle.

“Major events are at the heart of what makes Melbourne great: footy, food and wine and fast cars,” Delia said.

“What else could you possibly want?”

Funnyman Dave Hughes, a headliner at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (March 30 to April 24) agrees.

“Melbourne is alive in March and April. It’s my favourite time of the year,” Hughes said.

AFLW player Eden Zanker says the siren is sounding for footy fans to back their favourites for another season.

Zanker said: “I can’t wait to celebrate the roar of our state coming alive again”.

Aisha Aidara, who plays Rose Granger-Weasley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will go into rehearsals later this month for the new, reimagined version of the magical play, which premieres in May.

“There’s always amazing energy in the air when you start working collectively on something new,” Aidara said.

“And I think that’s the same for Melbourne, you can feel like we’re just about to step out all together and get back to enjoying everything that we love.”

Elvis Presley tribute artist, Jack Gatto, is ready to hip swivel and shake a leg when the Elvis: Direct From Graceland exhibition rolls into the Benidgo Art Gallery (March 9 to July 17).

Better Homes And Gardens presenter Melissa King hopes aspiring green thumbs who took up gardening during lockdown find inspiration at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (March 30 to April 3).

Meanwhile, the Victoria Racing Club is gearing up for autumn with three race days across consecutive Saturdays in March, including Guineas Day, Super Saturday and All Star Mile.

Group 1 winning jockey Lachlan King has already won the Victoria Derby at Flemington and will partner with King Magnus in the $5m All-Star Mile.

Across town, at Albert Park, the Australian GP (April 7 to 10) is revving up.

The event’s marketing manager, Arthur Gillion, said: “Melbourne is the home of major international events, and we cannot wait to come back with a bang”.

Originally published as 7126 new cases, 28 deaths; March madness events hit Melbourne

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