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Australia’s second most populous state reports small daily rise in COVID-19 cases

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Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria, the country’s COVID-19 hot spot, on Thursday reported a small daily increase in new infections with 240 cases over the past 24 hours.

The figures will buoy optimism that a hard lockdown of the state capital Melbourne is containing the spread of the new coronavirus, which had threatened to spill across the rest of the country.

Victoria reported 216 cases a day earlier, the lowest one-day rise in five weeks.

A flare-up in infections in the state forced authorities two weeks ago to impose a nightly curfew in Melbourne and shut large parts of the state’s economy.

Australia has recorded just over 24,000 COVID-19 infections, while the death toll rose to 462 after 12 people in Victoria died from the virus.

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