Covid-19 cases rise in Australia; lockdown in worst-hit Victoria state

Amidst the rising number of coronavirus cases in Australia, authorities in Melbourne and some regional parts of the hardest-hit Victoria state on Thursday entered into its first day of the second lockdown, imposing restrictions for next six weeks.

Victoria recorded another 165 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours including several hospital and aged care workers, on the first day of its second lockdown.

Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) remained closed temporarily along with Victoria to arrest the spread of the Covid-19.

Urging residents not to become complacent, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that “about 25,000 tests are being done every day in Victoria, and particularly… in Melbourne. That is an industrial scale of testing, which is an essential part of dealing with the outbreak in Victoria”.

Morrison will hold a Cabinet meeting on Friday to discuss the latest coronavirus surge in Victoria and look at the risk to other states.

“I would say more broadly across the country that we must guard against complacency, that we must continue to follow those social distancing protocols all around Australia, even in states or territories where the number of cases is effectively zero,” the prime minister said.

Please do not think that any of the states or territories are immune, he warned.

‘‘And if there were to be issues that presented in any of those states and territories, the best defence that we have, especially in the first instance, is that all citizens, all residents right across the country, are continuing to practice the appropriate social distancing and other measures.

“We’ve seen the images in many parts of the country, where I think we are seeing some of that lapse. And it’s important, because we do not want to see the situation in Victoria repeated in any other part of the country,” he said.

Morrison thanked the Melbourne residents for their patience during the ongoing health crisis.

In a bid to contain the virus from spreading, the Victorian government has announced a regular temprature check for all the students who would return to school in the next term.

The state government will distribute more than 14,000 thermometers to schools in greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire and in schools that are near the lockdown zones.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the coronavirus restrictions in the state will not be tightened “at this stage” after 13 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.

She said that the rate of community transmission was seen low.

Only one new case was recorded in ACT after a man in his 20s contracted the virus.

So far, Australia’s death toll from the Covid-19 stands at 106 with no new fatalities reported in the 24 hours.

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