Australia’s Victoria records fresh 41 Covid-19 deaths, largest daily spike

Sydney, Australia, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- Victoria, Australia’s epicenter of the second-wave of Covid-19 infections, has recorded fresh 73 coronavirus infections and 41 deaths, authorities said on Monday, an unprecedented large fatality count for the state.

Victoria premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne that only eight of the new fatalities reported on Monday occurred in the last 24 hours. The rest 33 happened in previous weeks.

“At least 37 of the 41 coronavirus deaths reported today were linked to aged care outbreaks,” Andrews said.

Australia has recorded nearly 26,000 Covid-19 infections and over 650 death, 565 of them in Victoria, since the beginning of the pandemic.

Andrews said he would on Sep. 6 announce a road map on how to ease restrictions slowly.

“Another week’s data is critically important to make sure that the strategy continues to work and for us to have a better sense of how long it will take to drive these numbers down to very, very low,” the premier said.

He said the authorities were targeting such a low number of cases “that can be contained without the need to put restrictions back.”

“That is the aim, and that is what the strategy is working towards.

We can’t rule out settings in two weeks, it is very difficult to know what those settings will be. They have to be guided by the data, the science, and the very best medical advice.”

The long-awaited announcement to relax the total lockdown will bring relief to some 5 million Melbourne residents who are confined from July 9 to Sep.13, following the outbreak of coronavirus at the end of June.

The second wave pushed the numbers from some 2,200 infections to over 19,000 currently reported in Victoria.

The Victorian government toughened the measures on Aug. 2 by imposing a night curfew in the city and the closure of non-essential businesses.

In the rest of the territory, the government imposed less restrictive confinement measures, while maintaining its border closure with neighboring states.

New South Wales state, the most populous in Australia, is also fighting several outbreaks of Covid-19 after clusters centered on gyms, bars, health centers, and popular bus routes were detected in Sydney’s central business.

The New South Wales government, which reported 10 new cases, four of which are local contagion and the rest in quarantine centers for travelers returning from abroad, has been criticized for not making masks mandatory in public transport. EFE-EPA


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