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Australia on guard as Covid-19 cases jump in Victoria



PHOTO: Weyne Yew on Unsplash

Restrictions have been tightened once again in the Australian state of Victoria, as a surge in new Covid-19 cases has officials on high alert. A state of emergency has been prolonged by a further 4 weeks, and private homes can now have no more than 5 visitors at a time, down from the previous 10. Plans to increase the number of customers allowed in bars and restaurants at any one time have been shelved for the time being.

Australia’s relatively small number of 7,461 cases in total is the result of the country closing its borders early on in the outbreak and placing strict quarantine requirements on returning residents, as well as instigating extensive testing and tough social distancing rules. Out of 116 new cases recorded in the state last week, 87 of them are cases of local transmission.

Brendan Murphy, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, says the rise in cases in Victoria appears to be linked to family gatherings, with some people who tested positive or had come into contact with an infected person, not self-quarantining.

Authorities in Victoria are now warning against travel to six areas in Melbourne, the state capital, and other states seeing what’s happening in Victoria may decide to keep their borders closed past July. Meanwhile, PM Scott Morrison is calling for inter-state travel to be allowed in order to revive domestic tourism and help the country’s devastated economy.

However, a report in Nation Thailand says the spike in cases in Victoria comes as South Korea, the US and Israel also experience a surge in new cases, leading to the quandary of how to jump-start the global economy while simultaneously trying to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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