Australia's Victoria sees a drop in new COVID-19 cases

02 Août, 2020, 08:51 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Australia

The state government's cabinet crisis committee is believed to have held a teleconference overnight, with a view that Mr Andrews would announce new and tougher restrictions on Sunday or Monday. Now the state accounts for about 60% of Australia's 17,300 cases.

Experts are working over the weekend to analyse infection data from the first half of Victoria's six-week lockdown, but Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews admitted further restrictions could prove a "circuit breaker" for rising COVID-19 cases.

Andrews said his government was deeply anxious that 49 "mystery cases" identified on Saturday could indicate the virus was spreading widely through the Melbourne community and confirmed he was in discussions with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison about tougher restrictions.

Melbourne's streets have been quiet this week as cases continued to spiral.

'This means that police and others have additional powers, ' the premier said.

The new restrictions will be in place until (at least) September 13, 2020.

The sunshine state on Saturday imposed tighter border restrictions, adding visitors from greater Sydney to the banned list, along with all people from Victoria.

While there's no definition of what stage four restrictions will look like, it's expected more businesses will be forced to close their doors, public transport services will be cut and Melburnians will face stricter stay-at-home orders.

There are 49 new "mystery" cases, taking suspected community transmission to almost 2000 cases.

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'From Wednesday we will move to flexible and remote learning for all students in all schools right across the state, ' Mr Andrews told reporters.

The premier said the time for warnings had passed and a "much bigger fine" through the courts is being considered as an alternative to on-the-spot fines.

"Even minor changes have a significant cost. What we may be doing now may not be enough".

Victoria had its second worst day of the pandemic on Friday, with 627 new cases and eight deaths.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he understood the deaths of a man and woman in their 80s and a woman in her 90s were linked to aged care, where 1008 cases are now active.

Andrews said hospital nurses had now worked more than 570 shifts in care homes.

But Victorian health authorities have been cautious, saying it was unclear if such an approach would work here due to the high levels of community transmission.

Half-way through a six-week lockdown, the infection curve in Victoria hasn't flattened.

Thirty-seven of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks while 360 remain under investigation. This brings the state's total to a staggering 6,322 active cases.

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