A fit and healthy athlete has revealed how a 'mild' case of coronavirus left him struggling to walk and shared the painful symptoms he still battles to this day. 

Will Smith, 24, contracted the virus in March last year when he returned to Victoria after completing his studies at a college in Boston. 

The talented athlete revealed he continues to battle symptoms of long Covid almost 19 months after recovering from a 'mild' case of the virus. 

'The initial illness was incredibly frightening,' Mr Smith told reporters at Victoria's daily Covid press conference on Tuesday. 

'The feeling of straining against your own body, trying to expand your lungs against this invisible force, struggling to breathe.' 

The student athlete said he was never hospitalised or admitted to an intensive care unit and was officially cleared of the virus after a few weeks. 

However, the 24-year-old said a relapse of intense 'symptom flare-ups' could be brought on by simply walking his dog or kicking the footy about with mates. 

Despite finishing four years of high-intensity athletics where Mr Smith trained six days a week, he can feel lightheaded after walking around the block. 

'I had such debilitating fatigue that I sometimes couldn't even get out of bed,' the athlete said, adding the mental impacts of long Covid had taken a toll. 

'The shame of constantly having to tell people that you're still not better yet. The frustration you feel with your own body that you just can't seem to get over this post-viral syndrome,' he said. 

The Melbourne man urged residents to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loves ones from the deadly virus he continued to battle. 

Mr Smith explained there hadn't been a vaccine when he had contracted Covid-19 last year and said he had felt powerless for a long time.  

'You don't have to be on a ventilator to have your life turned upside-down for months, or maybe even years,' he said. 

'We're not powerless anymore. We can fight back. And we can now protect ourselves and those we love. We can get vaccinated.'

His sentiments came as Victoria recorded by far the most new Covid cases in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Delta outbreak surged by 1,763 infections on Tuesday - 164 more than the worst day of the NSW lockdown on September 10.

Melbourne has been locked down longer than any city on Earth through the whole pandemic and will not taste freedom until October 26.

Tuesday's infection tally smashed the state's previous record of 1,476 on Friday and was almost double the worst day of its deadly second wave last year.

However, today will likely not be the worst day of the pandemic for Australia overall as NSW is expected to only have cases in the 600s, as it did on Monday.

Some expert predictions have Covid cases reaching 3,000 a day before the curve finally turns downward. Tuesday is the sixth straight day of four-figure infections. 

Victoria has 14,368 active cases, the most it has ever had. 

Premier Dan Andrews said there are 517 people are currently in hospital with Covid-19 with 101 of those are in intensive care and 66 are on a ventilator. 

Mr Andrews said 66 per cent of Victorians in hospitals are unvaccinated, while eight per cent have received one dose. Just six per cent are fully vaccinated.  

'There are very few people in hospital very sick who have been double-dose vaccinated, and that is all the reason you need to go and play your part,' he said. 

The state has recorded four Covid-related deaths in the last 24 hours, a man in his 80s from Whittlesea, a woman in her 70s from Hume, a man in his 60s from Whitehorse, and a woman in her 60s from Banyule.  

State-wide 83.2 per cent of those over the age of 16 have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine while 53 per cent have now received a second dose.

More than 62,189 Victorians were tested for the virus in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning, while 35,253 vaccinations were administered at state-run sites.

The week-long lockdown in LaTrobe City is due to be lifted from midnight on Tuesday, despite the detection of nine new cases, bringing the total to 67.  

Mr Andrews said high vaccination rates would deliver the state to the 70 per cent double-dose rate and urged residents to book an appointment.  

'We know it'll be a tough time for our health workers and our health system, but there's no alternative,' he said of the reopening. 

'It'll be easier, it will be less traumatic in our health system, the more and more people get vaccinated.' 

The state-wide lockdown is due to end on October 26 when 70 per cent of Victoria is vaccinated, but there are fears the outbreak won't have peaked by then.

Mr Andrews on Tuesday said he believed the state was on track to reopen on the earmarked date despite the worrying surge in new cases.

'We're not chasing zero. That's really clear. We have more cases than we would like. But without a lockdown on at the moment, then we would have many, many more cases and many more people in hospital,' he said. 

As of 8pm on Sunday Melburnians will have spent 245 cumulative days in lockdown, the most out of any city in the world.

The beats Argentinian capital Buenos Aires which spent 234 days in lockdown in 2020 plus a 10-day circuit breaker lockdown in May this year.

Melbourne will end up far exceeding this record with the current roadmap indicating lockdowns will not be lifted until 70 per cent vaccination around October 26. 


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