Australia’s Victoria makes wearing mask mandatory as coronavirus infections goes up

08/01/2020 03:00 | NaN

Australia’s Victoria makes wearing mask mandatory as coronavirus infections goes up

Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday said the latest fatalities were three men and three women in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s, and two men aged in their 90s.

Mr Andrews said further insights into modelling on community transmission trends might be presented in a press conference later this week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the main concern is that at least 50 cases have no known origins.

"Like everyone else, we're all disappointed when we see a number like this but I was aware it was a possibility, I was hoping it wouldn't happen but I'm not surprised", she said.

The state of Victoria is facing new restrictions as the number of daily COVID-19 cases hit a new record high.

Half of the new deaths were connected to aged care homes in the city.

"The large part of (transmission) is of course in workplaces", Mr Andrews said. Today, it noted 627 cases and eight deaths. These are new daily records.

Mouth and nose covering will now be obligatory in the state of more than six million people.

Similarly, there's a chance many people in the community aren't wearing masks properly and continue to handle them inappropriately, risking cross-contamination.

It would also prevent people leaving their immediate neighbourhood. We will see deaths every day - and that is a tragedy.

Mr Andrews said one in four people with coronavirus were not home when visited by health and defence personnel yesterday.

Facing the new lockdown, many Australians are weighing up the social and financial cost of retreating once more, particularly when it's not clear when restrictions will end, said Emma McBryde, a professor of infectious disease and epidemiology at James Cook University in Australia's Queensland state. The US, Brazil, India, and Russian Federation are now the countries hardest hit in the world.

Elsewhere in the country other states and territories have reported zero or just handfuls of cases for weeks, relaxing restrictions but banning visitors from the hotspots of Victoria and greater Sydney.

The safe list now consists of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay - and would also include China if Beijing reciprocated.

Australia has so far reported 5,800 cases of coronavirus and 190 deaths.

It had not recorded a locally transmitted infection for almost 100 days.

There are now 34 teams in Melbourne knocking on doors of people who have tested positive.

The northeastern state of Queensland, which had effectively eliminated the virus, said it had found three new cases, two of whom were believed to have contracted COVID-19 while in the NSW capital Sydney. Already, 4,000 have been paid out ($1.26 million).

The federal government this week announced the reopening ofyoga institutes and gymnasiums, and removed restrictions on themovement of people and goods.

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