SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, recorded 466 cases of the new coronavirus on Saturday and 12 COVID-19 deaths, though authorities expressed expect a stabilisation in new infections thanks to rigorous movement limitations.
FILE PICTURE: Bourke Street shopping center, a normally busy shopping center in Melbourne, is seen without people after the city reimposed limitations as part of efforts to suppress a revival of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), July 23,2020 REUTERS/Sandra Sanders/File Photo
Victoria is at the centre of a second wave of infections in Australia, accounting for more than two-thirds of the nationwide tally of almost 21,000
The southeastern state, of which Melbourne is the capital, has taped 181 deaths, almost 70%of the Australia’s deaths from the pandemic.
Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews expressed concern over 2,584 “mystery cases,” including 130 on Saturday, with unknown sources of infection.
” We need to presume there is more virus, more transmission, more cases out there than the data tells us,” Andrews told a news conference.
Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton invited a “stabilisation” in coronavirus cases, saying the state had avoided an exponential increase in infections due to its strict lockdowns.
” If we hadn’t stabilised these numbers, we would have seen thousands of cases each day,” Sutton stated. Coronavirus cases in Victoria have averaged at 400-500 daily over the recently.
Melbourne, the country’s second-biggest city, went under a rigorous Stage 4 lockdown on Thursday, shuttering stores and company and requiring its 5 million occupants to stay home.
” We have an absolutely no chance of driving these numbers down if we do not drive motion down, the amount of person-to-person contact, the amount of individuals moving through the community,” Andrews stated.
” This thing is … a public health bushfire, but you can not smell the smoke and you can not see the flames, it moves so fast that unless you make these modifications, we just have no chance whatsoever of driving down these numbers.”
Neighbouring New South Wales state taped 9 cases on Saturday.
Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by William Mallard