Australia’s coronavirus hot spot Victoria will make a mandatory mask across the state after reporting a record 723 new cases
MELBOURNE, Australia – Australia corona virus Victoria’s hot spot will make a mandatory mask across the state after reporting on Thursday a record 723 new cases.
Masks have been required in the state capital of Melbourne and adjacent semi-rural districts for the past week. Prime Minister Victoria Daniel Andrews said the move would be extended from Sunday.
Residents around the city of Geelong will not be allowed to have visitors in their homes from Thursday night.
723 new cases and a daily record of 13 deaths exceeded the previous record of 532 cases posted on Monday.
“These numbers today are a reflection of an increase in cases in elderly care,” Andrews said, referring to new infections in Melbourne nursing homes.
Melbourne and its neighbor, Mitchell Shire, are halfway through the six week closure, which according to Andrews can be extended.
He said expanding mandatory masks and banning home visitors was intended to keep infection rates low in regional centers. “We have to keep those low numbers jealously,” Andrews said.
“Even though this is a challenge, it is within our control,” Andrews said. “All of us, as proud Victorian people, if we follow the rules, if we play our part, then we can defeat this. We can reduce these numbers. “
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said weeks of lockdown did not produce the desired results. He said additional restrictions, while needed, would have an impact on the economy. “But neither containing this plague will have that effect either,” he said.
In other developments around the Asia-Pacific region:
– India reported more than 50,000 cases for the first time in 24 hours on Thursday, bringing the national total to 1,583,792. The amount of recovery from coronavirus also exceeds 1 million because the recovery rate of 64.4% continues to increase. The Ministry of Health reported 775 more deaths, bringing the total to 34,968. India has the third highest caseload in the world after the United States and Brazil. Deaths reported in India, however, marked a much lower mortality rate at 2.23% than in the other two countries.
– China on Thursday reported 105 confirmed COVID-19 cases, almost all of them in Xinjiang. The northwest region accounted for 96 cases, with five in northeastern Liaoning province and one in Beijing. The remaining three were brought by Chinese tourists from abroad. While China has mostly contained the virus in other parts of the country, the Xinjiang outbreak centered on the regional capital and the largest city of Urumqi continues to grow with 96 new cases. The authorities have locked several housing communities in the city, restricted public transportation and ordered extensive testing. Hong Kong is also struggling to contain its latest outbreak, with more than 100 new cases reported Thursday.
– China is stepping up its COVID-19 test in an effort to tackle a new outbreak that has opposed the country’s success in controlling the corona virus that was first detected in central Wuhan late last year. In the northeastern city of Dalian, authorities issued an open letter urging all 5.6 million residents to be tested after consecutive days of new cases. At midnight Wednesday, samples were collected from more than 4 million people, and a second round of tests was launched in high-risk areas. Extensive testing has also been carried out in Urumqi, where more than 100 specialists from the Centers for Disease Control are investigating the outbreak. Leading epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan also urged tests to be carried out on every one of the 7.5 million Hong Kong residents following a new wave of infections which added about 100 new cases per day. The city’s Hospital Authority said it planned to adapt the exhibition center into a community care facility.
– Vietnam on Thursday reported nine cases of COVID-19, when the first outbreak in more than three months spread to cities while authorities said they could not trace the source. The Health Ministry said eight of the new infections originated from the Da Nang hot spot, while another case was confirmed in Hanoi in a man returning from the coastal city. The outbreak has spread to five other cities and provinces with 43 cases reported since the weekend. Dak Lak Province is the latest to re-apply social distance, close non-essential services and ban public gatherings of more than 20 people. Da Nang neighbors, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai have closed their beaches and limited businesses. Meanwhile, Hanoi canceled public events, closed bars and clubs and plans to mass-test around 21,000 people returning from Da Nang.
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