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The Australian state of Victoria recorded 29 coronavirus deaths over the weekend, although one of the country’s top doctors said the state was taking control of the outbreak.
The country’s second most populous state recorded its deadliest pandemic day on Monday, with 19 deaths, after 17 Sunday and 12 Saturday.
One of Australia’s deputy chief medical officers, Nick Coatsworth, said on Friday Victoria appeared to have reached the peak of the outbreak.
“It looks like we’re on the set, but we’re looking for the inflection point that tells the Victorians that their efforts are paying off,” Dr Coatsworth said.
But State Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said Sunday’s 394 new cases, the lowest single-day tally in 12 days, shouldn’t be interpreted too positively.
Mr Andrews on Monday announced 322 new cases, a two-week minimum, but said he could not predict when the state’s strict lockdown, which began on July 9, would end.
Police in Melbourne, the state capital and Australia’s second largest city, were in force this weekend, in picture, control residents and prevent an anti-containment rally scheduled for Sunday in the central business district.
In New South Wales, two schools were closed on Monday after several students tested positive among 14 new cases in the state.
Queensland reported only one new case – an overseas arrival in hotel quarantine – as the state went 200 days free of local infection and prepared to lift restrictions on visitors to homes of retirement.
“This is very good news for Queensland,” Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said, adding that she hoped residents of the state “would support tourism operators, cafes and businesses across Queensland”.
Queensland closed its borders at 1 a.m. on Saturday to visitors from NSW and the Australian Capital Territory, which surrounds Canberra.