Victoria records another day of 19 coronavirus deaths as number of new cases stabilise

Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state recorded a second day of 19fatalities owing to Covid-19 in 24 hours on Tuesday.

The number of new cases recorded overnight stood at 322 infections, around the same number posted on Monday, and significantly less than last week’s average suggesting signs of slowing down of community transmission.

Daily infections in Victoria peaked at 725 on Aug. 5 and have been trending lower in recent days, following the imposition of a hard lockdown in Melbourne on July 19.

“We continue to see numbers coming down. Exactly how long that takes and to what the lowest number is we can get to, only time will tell,” Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

“There is no alternative, there is no choice.”

Nationally, Australia has detected about 22,000 infections and 332 deaths from COVID-19, far fewer than many other developed nations.

Still, the country was recording less than 20 new cases a day as recently as June. Quarantine breaches in Victoria are believed to believed to be the source of the latest outbreak.

Officials have begun an inquiry, with Andrews on Tuesday called as a witness to explain why the state government chose to employ private security in hotels used to quarantine people returning to Australia from overseas.

Outside the two largest states of Victoria and New South Wales, the virus has effectively been eliminated.

Worrying health officials, New South Wales on Tuesday reported 22 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest one-day rise since April 17.

With inputs from Reuters