Victorians who lived through a 112-day COVID-19 lockdown were able to quickly shake off its ill effects on mental health.
The psychological wellbeing of residents worsened during the protracted shutdown but rebounded within two months, according to Monash University-led study released on Friday.
It surveyed 898 working-age people before, during and after Melbourne's second-wave lockdown in 2020.
The lockdown was Australia's longest of the pandemic and rules included a five-kilometre limit on travel from home, a nightly curfew, a ban on home visitors, and mandatory outdoor masks.
Closing their borders to Victoria, other states and territories avoided a second wave during the period and did not follow it into lockdown.
When comparing the responses of 305 people from Victoria with 593 from elsewhere in Australia, the peer-reviewed study found the lockdown caused increased psychological distress, greater social isolation and work loss.
"People exposed to an extended lockdown experienced a delay in the recovery of mental health observed in the rest of Australia," the study said.
But once stay-at-home orders were repealed, the psychological consequences - mapped through scientific methods - were "short-lived".
Within two months the mental health of Victorians was back in line with the rest of Australia, the authors said.
"We also observed a pattern of deterioration during lockdown, followed by recovery post lockdown in ... social interactions and engagement in paid work," read the study, led by Daniel Griffiths from the Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
Australians' financial stress was highest during the early stages of the pandemic and lessened over time, but no significant difference in stress was detected among Victorians - something the study put, in part, down to financial support for businesses.
The study's findings come as COVID-19 continues to put pressure on the state's health network, more than two years into the crisis.
At least 12 people have died since October last year after calls to Victoria's triple-zero service went unanswered or weren't picked up quickly enough.
An independent review of the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority, led by former Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton, has been handed to the state government.
Emergency Services Minister Jaclyn Symes said on Friday she was considering the findings and recommendations, but declined to provide a timeline for its release.
"This is taking my full attention," she told reporters.
The opposition demanded the government immediately release the report in full, while promising to build a $750 million hospital at Mildura if it wins the November state election.
"We want to fix the health system. It's the biggest challenge in our state today," Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said while visiting the state's northwest.
Victoria reported 11,192 new COVID-19 cases and a further four deaths on Friday, with 335 people in hospital battling the virus.
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Australian Associated Press
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