Worst-hit Aus state reports lowest cases after curbs eased

Australia’s Victoria on Monday reported five new Covid-19 cases, the lowest since June 12, after coronavirus restrictions were eased in the country’s worst-hit state by the pandemic.

On June 12, the state had recorded just four new cases, the last lowest single-day spike, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said in a news report.

With the new five cases, the overall tally in the state stood at 20,145.

According to the state’s health authorities, three new fatalities were reported which took the Victoria’s death toll to 784.

State capital Melbourne’s 14-day daily new case average has dropped to 20.3 from 22.1 overnight, while regional Victoria’s 14-day average remains at 0.6.

Addressing the media here on Monday, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said the state was “so, so close” to defeating the second wave.

“What’s incredibly important, and I think every Victorian knows this is that everyone keeps following the rules, keeps doing the right thing,” the ABC news report quoted Andrews as saying.

Monday’s development comes as Melbourne moved to the second step of Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown on Sunday night.

All primary school students will resume classroom learning in two weeks, permits are no longer required for childcare, and up to five people from two different households can gather outside.

The city’s night curfew was also lifted.

Regional Victoria moved to the third step of the roadmap on September 16.

Future steps of lifting restrictions will now be guided by public health advice and case numbers, without needing to wait for certain dates on the calendar.

Under the changes, the third step in Melbourne could occur as soon as October 19, rather than October 26 as initially planned.