COVID-19 infections persist near record levels in Victoria, Australia

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A woman wearing a protective mask walks along a deserted city bridge during the morning commute hours on the first day of a lockdown as Victoria state seeks to curb the spread of a disease outbreak in coronavirus (COVID-19) in Melbourne, Australia, July 16, 2021. REUTERS / Sandra Sanders // File photo

SYDNEY, Oct. 15 (Reuters) – COVID-19 cases in Victoria, Australia approached record levels on Friday, even as authorities appear ready to lift lockdown restrictions next week in Melbourne, the capital of Australia. State, as the State approaches a key milestone in immunization.

A total of 2,179 new locally acquired cases were reported in Victoria, the majority in Melbourne, against a record high of 2,297 a day earlier. State Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said some restrictions would ease next week as Victoria’s double-dose vaccination levels head for the 70% mark, down from 63% now. Read more

Australia remained largely virus-free for most of this year until a third wave of infections fueled by the fast-growing Delta variant spread across its southeast from late June, forcing a multi-month lockdown in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

Canberra, the nation’s capital, emerged from its more than two-month lockdown on Friday, allowing cafes, pubs and gyms to reopen with strict social distancing rules.

Sydney lifted its stay-at-home orders earlier this week and the city’s 5 million residents could enjoy more freedoms from Monday as double-dose vaccination rates are expected to exceed 80% over the weekend -end – the level at which authorities have promised to ease further restrictions.

However, travel to regional areas of Greater Sydney will be delayed until November 1 due to lower vaccination rates compared to Sydney, New South Wales Deputy Premier Paul Toole told Friday. 2GB radio station.

Daily infections in New South Wales fell further to 399 from 406 on Thursday, well below the state’s pandemic high of 1,599 in early September.

The federal government has pressured states to reopen their borders, but some virus-free states have said they may delay reopening plans, fearing that a rapid reopening could overwhelm their healthcare systems.

The overall number of coronaviruses in the country is still relatively low, with some 139,000 cases and 1,506 deaths.

Report by Renju José; edited by Richard Pullin

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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