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Australia's Victoria state paves way for pop-up dining as virus cases remain low

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Australia's most heavily hit coronavirus state of Victoria logged a sixth consecutive day of low single digit new cases on Wednesday, as the state government said it was on track to announce fresh easing measures at the weekend.

"We do genuinely hope on Sunday to make some announcements in the future and if these numbers stay on trend we will be able to do that," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told a news conference.

Victoria, which has been under strict lockdown measures since early July, hopes to revitalize outdoor dining over the summer in the hard hit hospitality sector, by allowing pop-up restaurants in public gardens and carparks in downtown areas.

New infections in the Victoria's state capital Melbourne rose by three in the past 24 hours, up from a revised number of two from the day before, bringing total state numbers to 20,323 cases since the outbreak began, of which just 109 remain active.

A downward trend in Victoria, which has been under strict lockdown measures since early July, brings it within reach of a milestone required for opening measures to take place.

Its 14-day moving average of new cases fell to 6.2, close to the five mark required for health authorities to be sure they have stamped out community transmission and open the way for "COVID-normal" life to resume.

Victorians were allowed to extend travel up to 25 kms from their homes as of Monday, up from five kms, although retail, most beauty services, and hospitality outside of takeaway remain closed.

Elsewhere, Australia's most populous state New South Wales logged two new locally acquired cases and eight from returned travelers, while the northern state of Queensland logged one case from a returning traveller.

Australia has logged only one coronavirus-linked fatality over the past week, in stark contrast to Europe, the United States and much of South America which are in the grip of a rising second wave. It has logged 27,443 coronavirus cases of which around 217 remain active.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

3 Comments
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oh wow lockdowns do work, no it wont eliminate the virus, but itll keep hospitals and medical professionals above water until a vaccine is found. most of all itll save lives. NZ and Australia will start international flights again shortly. amazing what can be accomplished when you follow the science.

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wtfjapan:

lockdowns do work, no it wont eliminate the virus, but itll keep hospitals and medical professionals above water until a vaccine is found. most of all itll save lives.

Absolutely. Maybe lockdowns have more chance of succeeding in a single city like Melbourne and in smaller countries like NZ, but it's still a hard road to go down. So to have some success so far is really, really good. Although the people who downvoted you (and will probably downvote me) don't seem to agree.

Getting it down is one thing, keeping it down is another. But the rest of Australia has managed it so far, as has NZ and a few other countries, mainly in Asia. As for the NZ-Australia travel bubble, I won't hold my breath just yet. As you say, what the world is really hanging out for is a vaccine - but then some of those who don't believe in lockdowns don't believe in vaccines either.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

oh wow lockdowns do work, no it wont eliminate the virus, but itll keep hospitals and medical professionals above water until a vaccine is found. most of all itll save lives. NZ and Australia will start international flights again shortly. amazing what can be accomplished when you follow the science.

Could not agree more. lockdowns could be shorter and less strict if everybody did their part, but one thing this pandemic has taught us is that there will be always a segment of the population that don't care about taking precautions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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