Coronavirus Victoria: Cases set to soar beyond 600 again

Coronavirus Victoria: Cases set to soar beyond 600 again

Australia's coronavirus hot spot, Victoria state, will make wearing masks compulsory after reporting a record 723 new cases on Thursday, mostly among the vulnerable residents of aged care homes.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said everyone in the state of more than 6 million people would be required to wear a mask when outside from Sunday, widening a requirement already in place in Melbourne.

Melbourne is at the halfway point of a six-week lockdown, which has restricted residents from leaving home unless going to work, school, medical appointments or shopping for food.

Due to a successful suppression of the virus in the first months of the pandemic, Australia has reported far lower case numbers than many other countries - with about 16,000 cases and 189 deaths. "And for so long as that continues, then we will continue to see numbers go up".

Additionally people in the Colac-Otway, Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains and Borough of Queenscliffe council areas will no longer be able to visit people or host visitors in their homes.

Melbourne is an increasingly alarming anomaly in Australia, which has all but eliminated community transmission elsewhere. The previous record daily count of new infections in Australia was 518 reported on Monday.

But, insisted there was a "big difference" between Victoria's aged care outbreaks and the flare ups at Sydney's Newmarch House in Sydney, which saw 19 deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

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WITH the coronavirus spreading its way across Victoria in general - and through its aged-care sector in particular - whatever complacency people may have held about COVID-19 must surely be rendered a thing of the past. Military medics and interstate nurses have been brought into Melbourne nursing homes to boost standards of care. Her aunt, who suffers dementia as well as COVID-19, has since been transferred to a hospital, although the family was kept in the dark for five days over her fate. "It was a bungle from beginning to end".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the steep rise in numbers was "very concerning".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the main concern is that at least 50 cases have no known origins.

Back in March, Victoria state recorded fewer than 100 cases per day but since early July, it has been recording hundreds.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants would be allowed to stay open, however, because these were controlled environments where physical distancing rules could be enforced.

"It just seems like they've done this to say: 'We're doing something in these regional area hot spots, '" he added.

"It's surprising, it's eye-opening and it's quite scary if we can't get a handle on it", she said.

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