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Australia has suffered its worst day of Covid-19 infections with Victoria state recording 723 new cases, dashing hopes that a lockdown in the city of Melbourne was bringing the outbreak under control.
“Age-care cases, including staff, account for just around 10% of the total cases announced today,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He added that further measures have been taken at age-care homes.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters that 13 more people had died, bringing the state’s death toll to 105. Infections had gradually decreased earlier this week, with the state recording 295 new cases on Wednesday, raising hopes the six-week lockdown of the city of 5 million people was working.
“Most of today’s cases are in metro areas,” Andrews said in a statement. “But we have seen a significant jump in regional communities. It’s vital we stop this virus further seeping into regional Victoria.”
He said mask-wearing would be mandatory across the state, extending the order from just Melbourne. Residents in several regional centers, including Geelong, would not be allowed to have visitors in their homes from midnight.
There are mounting concerns that the stay-at-home order in Melbourne, begun three weeks ago, will need to be extended, inflicting further damage on the economy. Health authorities are also concerned the virus is spreading to other states and territories, most of which have gone weeks without recording community transmissions.
The Australian dollar fell 0.2% to 71.72 U.S. cents as investors sold the currency on the spike in cases.
New South Wales state on Thursday reported 18 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Queensland, which has closed its border to Victoria and the Greater Sydney area, is ramping up testing after two women who visited Melbourne didn’t self-isolate on their return and instead went to schools, restaurants and shopping centers for eight days unchecked before returning a positive result.
The resurgence in Victoria is taking a heavy toll on residents of age-care homes and is placing the health-care system under stress. The state said Tuesday it will suspend all but the most urgent elective surgeries in Melbourne as it seeks to free up hospital beds and nurses to fight a spike of cases in such facilities.
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In This Story: Australia
7 Recent Items: Australia
In This Story: COVID-19
Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
- a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
- shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)
Latest News about Covid-19
Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.
5 Recent Items: COVID-19
In This Story: Geelong
Geelong is a city southwest of Melbourne, Australia, in the state of Victoria. Population: 253,269 (2016).
3 Recent Items: Geelong
In This Story: Lockdown
During the 2020 Covid-19 epidemic, lockdown has come to mean the practice of attempting to control transmission of the virus by means of restricting people’s movement and activities on a broad scale, usually on a national or state-wide basis.
3 Recent Items: Lockdown
In This Story: Melbourne
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. Population: 4.936 million (2018).
5 Recent Items: Melbourne
In This Story: New South Wales
New South Wales is a southeastern Australian state, distinguished by its coastal cities and national parks. Sydney, its capital, is home to iconic structures such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Population: 7.544 million (Sept 2014)
3 Recent Items: New South Wales
In This Story: Queensland
Queensland (QLD) is an Australian state covering the continent’s northeast, with a coastline stretching nearly 7,000km. Its offshore Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, hosts thousands of marine species. The city of Cairns is a gateway to the reef and tropical Daintree Rainforest. The capital, Brisbane, is flanked by the surfing beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
5 Recent Items: Queensland
In This Story: Scott Morrison
Scott John Morrison is an Australian politician who is the 30th and current prime minister of Australia. He took office in August 2018 upon his election as leader of the Liberal Party, and subsequently led the Coalition to victory at the 2019 federal election.
4 Recent Items: Scott Morrison
In This Story: Sydney
- Population: 5.23 million (2018)