Sydney, Australia, Jul 26 (efe-epa).- Australia on Sunday witnessed the deadliest day of the new coronavirus pandemic with the state of Victoria – the second most populated in the country – registering 10 deaths and 459 cases within the last 24 hours as part of a fresh outbreak.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said in a press conference that seven of the 10 deaths were linked to outbreaks in elderly care homes.
He added that 42,000 tests had been carried out Saturday, the highest for a single day in the southern state, which has witnessed a new outbreak since the beginning of this month, even though Australia had managed to successfully manage the first wave of Covid-19 infections.
In the neighboring state of New South Wales – the most populated in the country – 14 fresh cases were registered on Sunday, all of them linked to a hotspot traced to a restaurant on the outskirts of Sydney.
Authorities in Victoria, where capital Melbourne has been put under a six-week lockdown, on Sunday reiterated a call for the citizens to wear face masks.
“There are 10 families that are going to be burying someone in the next few days – wear a mask. It’s not too much to ask,” Andrews said in his presser.
It has been mandatory to use face masks since Thursday in the cities of Melbourne and Mitchell – both under lockdown restrictions until Aug. 20 – with violators to be fined AU$200 ($143).
Since the fresh outbreak that surfaced in the beginning of July, confirmed cases in Victoria have gone past 8,000, more than half of the total cases in the country since the first infection was detected in March, with the nationwide case count now standing at around 14,000, including 145 deaths.
In New South Wales, the internal border with Victoria has been closed for the first time in nearly a century, as the state has reported dozens of locally transmitted fresh infections since the beginning of July, most of them linked to the outbreak in Melbourne.
According to official records, until now Apr. 6 had been the deadliest day of the pandemic in Australia, when 8 deaths had taken place. EFE-EPA