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Concern arises over Australian state's sudden spike in COVID-19 cases

Jun 19, 2020

Sydney (Australia), June 19: A third day of inflated new COVID-19 cases in the Australian state of Victoria on Friday has caused concern over a plan to reduce social distancing restrictions along with the rest of the country starting from Monday.
Victoria's infection total rose by 13 to 1,792, following 21 new cases on Wednesday, the biggest jump in over a month. Eighteen new cases were recorded on Thursday, eight of which were locally transmitted.
Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen said that plans remained in place to drastically ease restrictions on Monday but officials were watching the situation closely.
Gyms, cinemas, indoor sports centers and concert venues were scheduled to open their doors after months of lockdown, while cafes, restaurants and pubs will see their capacity limits more than double from 20 to 50 people.
"The plan is to continue to ease those restrictions on Monday, but a lot can happen in five days," van Diemen said on Thursday.
"We don't want to take any chances and if it does continue to climb, we will be taking all of that into account when we decide whether or not to ease further on Monday."
Five of Victoria's new cases on Friday were security guards at a hotel which used to house returned overseas travelers.
Van Diemen said it appeared protocol was breached which led to the outbreak at the hotel, with the guards failing to adhere to social distancing requirements.
Source: Xinhua News Agency