Australia’s Victoria state reports 9 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases

(Reuters) — Australia’s second-most populous state Victoria on Tuesday reported nine new locally acquired COVID-19 cases as authorities grapple with an outbreak in state capital Melbourne with several thousands close contacts and more than 300 virus hotspots.

Tuesday’s data includes six cases announced on Monday which were recorded after the midnight cut-off deadline. The state reported five cases in the 24 hours to midnight on Monday.

Victorian authorities on Monday said the situation was “incredibly serious” and that the next few days would be critical, raising questions over whether a snap one-week lockdown in the state would be extended beyond Thursday night.