The Australian state of Victoria hard hit another 273 cases of coronavirus

Henrietta Strickland
July 13, 2020

The state of Victoria reported 288 new cases on Friday, a record daily increase for any part of the country since the pandemic began.

Victoria hopes a second lockdown in Melbourne, the nation's second most populous city with 5 million people, will curb the spread.

Updating the public this afternoon, Premier Daniel Andrews said the state's total is now 3,799 cases and comes amid a "massive testing effort", with 30,195 tests performed yesterday.

NSW has also recorded new cases.

Federal government minister Darren Chester said Australia needs to get on top of the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure there is capacity to cope with those entering the quarantine period.

"This is a hazardous time, this is a very challenging time", Andrews stated. "We are still in a fortunate position and we have gone to a lockdown at this juncture in order not to have those kind of pressures manifest in our system".

Tasmania has delayed plans to reopen its borders while Western Australia has put off a final easing of restrictions as the states keep an eye on the situation in Victoria.

A man in his 70s also died as a result of COVID-19 overnight, bringing the national death toll to 108.

From Monday, only 4,000 Australian citizens or permanent residents will be allowed back into the country each day, down from around 8,000 now, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Sydney, Australia's largest city, has been carrying a disproportionate burden of hotel quarantine that is now paid for by the New South Wales government.

Australia will slash the number of returning citizens allowed into the country by half as it struggles to contain an outbreak of coronavirus in its second-largest city, officials announced Friday.

Morrison said the cap on returning Australians would remain in place until the Melbourne epidemic is contained.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison attended a rugby match on Saturday in Sydney, raising some concerns. Outside Victoria, most of Australia's COVID-19 cases are detected in overseas travelers quarantined in hotels.

Mr Chester backed the Victorian state government's call for face masks to be worn in isolation areas.

Such has been the pace of the COVID-19 spread on home soil, the federal government is halving global flight arrivals to ease pressure on hotel quarantine systems, meaning 4000 fewer people will be able to return home each week.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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