SYDNEY – Australia has reported the fewest number of new daily cases in its virus hotspot, Melbourne, since last month. But it also reported the nation’s highest daily death total since the virus outbreak began.
The state of Victoria reported 322 new infections and 19 new deaths on Monday, with 14 of the deaths connected to outbreaks at aged-care facilities.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was more hopeful now that cases are stabilizing in Victoria than he has been at any time over the past week.
But state Premier Daniel Andrews cautioned that not too much could be read into a single day’s worth of data, and that some of the state’s most stringent lockdown measures had only come into effect at midnight Sunday.
The number of new cases was the lowest recorded in Victoria since July 29.
The figures did not include new infections and deaths from other Australian states, although Victoria has been accounting for the vast majority of both in recent weeks.
Since the outbreak began, Australia has reported more than 21,000 infections and more than 300 deaths.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: