Vulnerable community groups are in desperate need of face masks and hand sanitiser amid Victoria's worsening coronavirus crisis.
A national organisation working for charities, GIVIT, is calling on Australians to give money online to help combat the virus.
More than 260 Victorian charities registered with the organisation - from community groups to homeless shelters - are crying out for face masks and hand sanitiser to weather the pandemic.
"Every day, dozens of charities are reaching out to us and asking for tens of thousands of essential items, especially disposable and reusable masks as well as hand sanitiser," GIVIT Victorian manager Solange Ardiles said on Tuesday.
"As with the initial outbreak just months ago, we're seeing an unprecedented amount of people in need, including many who may never have found themselves in such a vulnerable position before."
From Thursday, Melburnians must wear a mask in public or face a $200 fine.
"Masks are to coronavirus a bit like speed limits are to our road toll - they protect you, they protect those around you," Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Tuesday.
"It is a small sacrifice we make ... but it is a really important one because there is no greater loss of liberty than the loss of your life."
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the state government was working with primary health networks and doctors on how to deliver masks to vulnerable people in the community.
Council to Homeless Persons chief executive Jenny Smith hoped police would provide masks to those in need rather than fine them.
"Instead of issuing fines to vulnerable people, the police should be supported to be able to offer masks to anyone who doesn't know about the requirement, or who doesn't have the resources to buy one," she said.
Yet for some Victorians, including those within the deaf community, wearing a mask makes them feel even more isolated from society.
Deaf Victoria individual advocacy officer Catherine Dunn told AAP many deaf people, like her, relied heavily on lip reading to communicate and there was anxiety about how that would work under the new mandate.
"We know the purpose of the masks is not to exclude people who are deaf and hard of hearing but it's an unintended consequence, and it actually does alienate people who are deaf and hard of hearing," she said.
"Wearing a mask, that's another barrier that I don't need."
Deaf Victoria general manager Maxine Buxton hoped clear masks would be made available, particularly at hospitals and testing centres.
Swinburne University of Technology dean of Health Sciences Bruce Thompson suggested people have six to 12 masks on rotation.
UNSW professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an adviser to the World Health Organisation, said her view on masks had changed and she now wants people to wear them.
"Even if 65 per cent of the population wore a mask, we could get a reproductive number of four down to one quite rapidly," she said.
"Melbourne's had this uptick and the only way to deal with it is a bundle of infection control ... it's a whole bundle but masks should be in there as well."
Australian Associated Press