Australia’s coronavirus hotspot state of Victoria on Tuesday reported 10 new infections in the past 24 hours, turning around a second contagion wave that only last month was infecting over 700 people every day.
The country’s second most populous state has paid a high price to contain the spread of the virus, placing nearly 5 million residents of its capital Melbourne under one of the world’s most stringent lockdowns since early August.
The state, which accounts for the bulk of the country’s over 27 000 infections, and 882 deaths, on Sunday lifted some of the restrictions, including nightly curfews.
A key indicator, the rolling 14-day average, fell to 18.2, tracking ahead of state government expectations, officials said.
“That continuous improvement will serve us well as we continue to open up,” premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Tuesday. “This strategy is working (and) is delivering us those lower numbers.”
Meanwhile, the state of Western Australia reported 8 new coronavirus infections, following a small outbreak on a cargo ship that arrived from the Philippines earlier this month.
A total of 17 crew members of the Patricia Oldendorff have tested positive for the virus, and are quarantining on the vessel or onshore, the company said in a statement.
Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, reported two new infections on Tuesday, both returned travelers who were already quarantining in hotels. The state has not had any locally acquired cases in four days, officials said.