Sydney, Australia, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- The Australian state of Victoria, the epicenter of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country due to the outbreak in in its capital city, Melbourne, recorded 42 infections and zero deaths on Tuesday, the first day since July 13 without any casualties.
The announcement coincides with the easing of coronavirus restrictions on Monday in Melbourne, which with almost 5 million inhabitants is the second most populated city in Australia.
Starting Monday, Melburnians were allowed to exercise outside for up to two hours a day split over a maximum of two sessions per day, instead of the one hour they had been allowed for the last six weeks.
The nighttime curfew was also extended by an hour to 9 pm, among other changes, amid a significant drop in COVID-19 cases.
The Victoria government is seeking to reduce daily infection numbers to an average of 30 to 50 cases over the next two weeks, which could lead to the lifting of the lockdown on Sep. 28.
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said at a press conference in Melbourne on Tuesday that the current average daily infections in the city is 52.9.
The average daily infections in other parts of the state has been 3.6 for two weeks, which led Andrews to allow outdoor gatherings with up to 10 people and the reopening of hospitality businesses with 50 customers being allowed in an outdoor area from Thursday.
The government of Victoria, which accounts for more than 20 percent of Australia’s gross domestic product GDP, placed Melbourne under lockdown on July 9 on account of the outbreak that was allegedly caused by several breaches in the state quarantine hotels set up in the city for travelers returning from overseas.
The government has been forced to toughen and extend the lockdown due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Victoria currently has 19,914 infections out of more than 26,700 that Australia has recorded since the start of the epidemic and 729 of the 816 deaths due to the novel coronavirus in the country.
COVID-19 cases also being recorded in other Australian states although fewer.
New South Wales reported 7 infections on Tuesday while Queensland recorded one. EFE-EPA