Australia’s Victoria state posts lowest rise in daily COVID-19 cases in a week

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A lady walks previous an empty cafe throughout morning commute hours on the primary day of a seven-day lockdown because the state of Victoria appears to be like to curb the unfold of a coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak in Melbourne, Australia, Might 28, 2021. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders

Australia’s second-most populous state Victoria reported simply three new COVID-19 instances on Thursday, its lowest single-day rise in additional than every week, a day after a snap lockdown in state capital Melbourne was prolonged for one more week.

Victoria has endured 4 lockdowns because the pandemic begun, the longest operating for greater than 100 days in late 2020.

Underneath mounting stress and with an election doubtless inside a yr, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday introduced a plan to pay as much as A$500 ($387) every week to individuals in lockdown.

Morrison stated the funds can be given to individuals over 17 years outdated who can’t work at home and who’ve lower than A$10,000 in liquid property.

Australia launched a wage subsidy scheme firstly of the pandemic, however scheme resulted in March and the federal government had resisted requires a brief reintroduction of the measure.

Snap lockdowns, regional border curbs and hard social distancing guidelines have largely helped Australia preserve its COVID-19 figures comparatively low, at 30,130 instances and 910 deaths.

However Morrison is being criticised for a sluggish vaccine roll and his refusal to assist state authorities’s construct particular COVID-19 quarantine centres, as an alternative of counting on lodge quarantine the place leaks have unfold the virus.

Melbourne’s newest outbreak has been traced again to a returned abroad traveller who left lodge quarantine within the state of South Australia after testing damaging, however subsequently examined optimistic in Melbourne.

Melbourne is now seven days into a tough lockdown, scheduled to run till June 10, with authorities saying the extremely contagious virus, a variant first detected in India, may turn out to be uncontrollable.

Although Victoria’s each day instances have remained within the single digits for every week now, officers worry even minimal contact may assist unfold the virus variant. The three instances got here from report each day assessments of greater than 57,500 individuals, bringing the whole variety of infections within the outbreak to 63.

In Victoria’s newest lockdown, guidelines in areas exterior Melbourne can be eased from Thursday night time because of the absence of instances there, though curbs on home gatherings will stay and masks should be worn indoors.

Melbourne’s 5 million residents, nonetheless, will solely be allowed to step exterior their properties for important work, healthcare, grocery buying, train or to get COVID-19 vaccination till the top of subsequent week.

“We don’t do that as a result of we wish to, we don’t do that as a result of it’s a alternative. We do that as a result of we have now to do,” Victoria state Appearing Premier James Merlino advised reporters in Melbourne.

New South Wales state, which shares a border with Victoria, is on alert after an contaminated traveller from Melbourne visited some fashionable vacationer spots within the state’s south about two weeks in the past, sending authorities speeding to trace shut contacts. Almost a dozen areas have been listed as hotspots.

($1 = 1.2918 Australian {dollars})

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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