Asia/Pacific

COVID-19 cases in Melbourne at record levels despite two months of lockdowns

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The Australian city of Melbourne has seen a record spike of COVID-19 cases despite a strict lockdown that has been in place for nearly two months, Reuters reported.

Authorities reported 1,483 new infections on Thursday, a 50 percent jump from Wednesday’s total of 950 new cases. 

Authorities said the new rise of new could be linked to various home parties stemming from a sporting event over the weekend, according to Reuters. 

State Premier Daniel Andrews said during a media conference that most of the new cases were “completely avoidable.”

“I’m not trying to blame anyone, I’m simply trying to explain because a lot of people will be scratching their heads — how could it have gone up by so much, so fast,” Andrew said. 

A number of Australian cities are in a weeks-long lockdown due to the current wave of the highly contagious delta variant, Reuters reported. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been pressing states and territories to begin living with the virus once vaccination rates reach 70 to 80 percent, but largely COVID-19-free territories of Queensland and Western Australia have signaled a slower approach to reopening.  

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Australia has reported about 105,000 total cases and 1,291 COVID-19-related deaths, Reuters noted.

Tags Australia COVID lockdowns COVID-19 outbreak Melbourne Scott Morrison

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