Australia reports record spike in coronavirus cases

Clay Curtis
July 30, 2020

Masks have been mandatory in the state capital, Melbourne, and a neighboring semi-rural district for the past week.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said Thursday that masks or other face coverings will be compulsory for the whole state beginning late Sunday.

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.

The 723 new cases exceeded the previous high of 532 cases posted Monday.

Premier Andrews said the latest case numbers reflected the virus's hold in the city's nursing homes - with one in six cases linked to residents and staff.

"We need to understand that this could happen to us at any time, and we need to be a bit more serious about the preparations we're making, especially in the aged care sector".

"Having friends over to your house is not a controlled environment", Andrews said.

"If you're a positive case, then you need to be at home and you need to be isolating - to have found even one person who had disregarded their diagnosis and instead had made a decision to go to work is very disappointing". "We can drive these numbers down".

Another hotspot, in inner-city Sydney, forced a senior adviser to Prime Minister Scott Morrison into self-isolation, but the prime minister has been cleared to continue working.

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Prof Blakely acknowledged daily results could be impacted by the fact that tests were often processed in batches but he said "a number greater than 700 is still concerning". "Federal funding is also being provided to ensure aged care employers can work at a single site, and workers won't be financially disadvantaged" said the spokesperson.

Member for Mildura Ali Cupper supported the measure, which she said would play a role in keeping the electorate, which did not have a confirmed active case, virus-free.

"That's a small number, though", he continued. Most of the deaths come from an elderly care facility in Victoria hard-hit by the virus. The US, Brazil, India, and Russian Federation are now the countries hardest hit in the world. The reported deaths in India, however, mark a far lower fatality rate at 2.23% than in the other two countries. 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. The remaining three were brought by Chinese travelers from overseas.

Most states and territories in Australia reported few or no new cases in recent weeks. Authorities have locked down some residential communities in the city, restricted public transit and ordered widespread testing.

NSW, Australia's most populous state, reported 18 new cases, with six from unknown sources.

Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

Officials renewed appeals for people with symptoms to get tested quickly.

More than 80 aged care facilities in Victoria have been affected, which is a substantial proportion of the more than 430 venues in the state. Extensive testing has also been carried out in Urumqi, where more than 100 specialists from the Centers for Disease Control are investigating the outbreak.

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