Australia’s Victoria reports deadliest day of coronavirus pandemic, Queensland shuts state border

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Australia’s second most populous state of Victoria on Wednesday reported its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak with 15 fatalities in the last 24 hours and a record daily rise in infections.

The state reported 725 new cases compared with 439 a day earlier. It recorded its previous one-day high of 723 cases and 13 deaths last week.

Victoria earlier this week imposed a night curfew, tightened restrictions on people’s daily movements and ordered large parts of the local economy to close to slow the spread of coronavirus.

More military personnel have been deployed to curb infections and anyone breaking isolation orders could face fines of up to A$20,000 ($14,334).

Australia’s Queensland state on Wednesday said it would close its border with New South Wales state to hold back a second wave of COVID-19, while the country’s second-largest city Melbourne was set to shut most businesses from midnight.

A surge in coronavirus cases in Melbourne has forced the state of Victoria to impose a night curfew, tighten restrictions on people’s movements and order most businesses to stop trading from Wednesday night.

Other states are imposing new restrictions of their own to prevent any spillover form Victoria and an even bigger hit to the national economy, which has plunged into its first recession in nearly three decades.

Australia has withstood the pandemic much better than most other countries, with 18,729 cases and 232 deaths in a population of 25 million.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has already shut her northeastern state’s border to Victorians, said travelers from New South Wales and the capital Canberra also would be barred from Saturday.

s2.reutersmedia.net

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