Medical personnel conduct tests for coronavirus (COVID-19) at the pop-up testing center, when the state of New South Wales grapples with the outbreak of new cases, in Sydney, Australia, 30 July 2020. REUTERS / Loren Elliott
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia recorded the worst day in a coronavirus pandemic on Thursday when the country’s second most populous country reported more than 700 new infections and 13 deaths.
The new national record for new cases is 518 but a second wave in Victoria centered on elderly care facilities has forced authorities to lock down the capital of the state of Melbourne and other countries to close their borders.
“I’m clearly worried to see these numbers increase. In some ways, it is unexpected when you have so many cases in elderly care in the private sector, “Victoria’s Prime Minister Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
Too many people will work when they are sick or waiting for test results, he added.
The social distance restrictions will be extended, with residents of the southern state no longer allowed to have visitors to their homes starting Thursday night.
Everyone in the state starting Sunday is also required to wear a mask when outside.
Earlier this month, Victoria told nearly 5 million people around Melbourne, the country’s second most populous city, to wear masks outside and stay at home except for important trips.
Outbreaks in the state of Victoria have spread to neighboring countries even though internal borders are closed.
The state of Queensland said Thursday it had found three new cases, two of which were believed to have contracted COVID-19 while in Sydney, the capital of the state of New South Wales.
Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Stephen Coates
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