Asia Minute: Australian State Sees Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Jun 26, 2020

The number of new cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in the United States. This week has also seen increases in cases in one location that still has relatively low numbers overall: Australia.

About a thousand Australian army personnel are headed to the state of Victoria today to help authorities contain an outbreak of COVID-19.

The daily tally of new cases in the state has climbed steadily during this week – still at a low level compared to many places, but more than doubling from Monday through Thursday.

Melbourne is the country’s second most populous city after Sydney, and health officials say it’s been the only source of community spread in the entire country for several weeks.

The state of Victoria dominates the new case figures for Australia — it’s home to nearly three-quarters of the country’s active cases. Victoria’s state government is zeroing in on tracing and testing — going door to door in some communities.

The state Premier Daniel Andrews says about 100,000 tests will be administered over the next ten days.

The premier of the neighboring state of New South Wales is asking residents not to travel to Victoria, adding, quote, “Please do not welcome your friends, who may be intending to visit from Victoria, in the next few weeks, into your home.”

In Victoria, a state of emergency has been extended through July 12th.

Australia’s case load remains relatively low for its size — an overall case count topping 7,500, with 104 deaths.