The state of Victoria in Australia confirmed 41 new cases of the coronavirus or COVID-19 on Saturday, which is double the state seen a week earlier, grappling to gain control over the pandemic as the rest of the nation continues to relax social distancing restrictions.
Victoria, the second-most-populated state of the country, has now witnessed 11 straight days of double-digit new cases of the deadly novel virus, which are mostly linked to known outbreaks in the suburbs of Melbourne, health officials mentioned. Victoria has 204 of the 270 active cases in Australia.
COVID-19 Outbreak in Victoria
"We are very concerned," deputy chief health officer of Victoria, Annaliese van Diemen, said at a press conference. One of the new cases was a returned traveler. Australia requires all locals who return to quarantine in hotels for two weeks. But about 30 percent of people in Victoria have declined a COVID-19 test before leaving quarantine, health officials said.
New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, recorded six new cases on Saturday and officials said that returned travelers who declined to be tested will have to stay in a mandatory quarantine 10 days longer.
Despite the spike in cases in Victoria, Australia's infections numbers of around 7,600 and 104 deaths have remained well below that of many other nations. On Friday, the government said that the country will continue easing social distancing restrictions and Tennis Australia (TA) said on Saturday that record numbers of people have been block booking tennis courts.
(With agency inputs)