Australia records deadliest day of COVID-19 pandemic

Clay Curtis
July 31, 2020

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that many of these cases are linked to aged care, but also warned that workplaces were significant sites of transmission.

"I know that it may seem, as I said, counterintuitive that you can go to the pub but you can't go to your mate's place, but ultimately that's where the data drives that decision", he said.

Some 723 positive cases were reported in the last 24 hours, well beyond the previous nationwide record of 549 cases set on Monday.

Victoria state Premier Dan Andrews said that in certain local areas, businesses would stay open but people would no longer be able to visit friends and family.

The outbreak in Victoria state has spilled into neighbouring states despite internal borders being closed. It's not in cafes and restaurants, but it is, in small numbers, in people's homes.

"It's about recognising that far too many people are either not taking this seriously enough - or they're having to make an impossible choice".

As well as tightened restrictions in another six local government areas, Victorians will be ordered to wear masks whenever they leave home, across the state, from noon on Sunday.

Most of those who died were aged in their 70s-90s.

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The warnings come as allegations of neglect emerged from the coronavirus-riddled Epping Gardens Aged Care home in Melbourne's north.

"If you are a positive case you need to be at home and you need to be isolating", he said.

"The considerable number of homes that have been affected in Melbourne is a grave cause for concern because there will be a lag between when the cases occur and when the deaths occur".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose federal government regulates nursing homes, said Melbourne aged care facilities are now faring better with military and outside nursing help.

"We've now been in this lockdown (in Melbourne) for some weeks, and we are not getting the results we would hope for, and as a result, the further measures that are taken are certainly necessary", Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

"On some days the virus wins, on other days we beat it".

With most other states and territories recording zero or just a handful of new cases for weeks, police around the country continue to crack down on those flouting travel bans from virus hotspots and other public health orders.

Queensland state, which had effectively eliminated the virus, said it had found three new cases, two of whom were believed to have contracted Covid-19 while in the NSW capital Sydney.

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