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Spike in Australian COVID-19 cases "deeply concerning": health authority

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 16:45, July 07, 2020

CANBERRA, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Australia has recorded almost 200 new cases of coronavirus in a single day.

Authorities in Victoria on Tuesday announced that there had been 191 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 in the state since Monday. It marks the second consecutive day that the state has recorded its largest daily increase.

"Within Victoria, 37 new cases are linked to outbreaks and 154 are under investigation. No cases have been detected in returned travellers in hotel quarantine," said a media release from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria on Tuesday.

Addressing the spike in cases in Victoria, Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth on Tuesday morning described the outbreaks as "deeply concerning."

"The numbers are obviously in three figures now, and there's a significant amount of community transmission. In fact, now the vast majority of cases are occurring within the Victorian community, the Melbourne community, rather than from overseas travelers," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

"This is a real partnership between people in those towers, between Victorians and the rest of Australia and its government to get this under control. This is an issue that we all share," he said, referring to the lockdown imposed on nine public housing towers.

Daniel Andrews, premier of Victoria, said in a statement on Tuesday that based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, Stage 3 "Stay at Home" restrictions will be reinstated across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from 11:59 p.m. local time from Wednesday.

"It's clear we are on the cusp of our second wave -- and we cannot let this virus cut through our communities," he said.

Businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will also return to Stage 3 restrictions, with restaurants and cafes returning to takeaway and delivery services only. Beauty and personal services, entertainment and cultural venues and community sport will be closed.

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