Australia reports record number of new Covid-19 cases
Jamie Smyth in Sydney
Australia reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, as authorities fought to contain an outbreak in the state of Victoria which added 723 infections in the national support.
Recent outbreaks in New South Wales and Queensland – the latter not reporting a locally transferred case for weeks – have prompted authorities to close some state borders and tighten social distance measures in several areas.
Six new cases in Queensland have been linked to the education of three young people who allegedly lied to border police about visits to Sydney and Melbourne, the city at the center of the Victoria outbreak.
Katarina Carroll, a Queensland police officer, said the three women had gone to "extraordinary lengths to be fraudsters".
“I am very disappointed with them at this stage. They went extraordinary for being deceitful and deceptive, and frankly criminals in their behavior, and that has put society in danger. "
Queensland declared Sydney a Covid-19 hotspot this week and said it would close the border to travelers from the city on Saturday.
New South Wales reported 18 new cases on Thursday.
Australia enjoyed significant success in suppressing the spread of coronavirus following an initial outbreak in February. But a second wave of infections in early July, linked to blunders in Victoria's hotel quarantine system, has forced the state to implement a new lockdown and request assistance from the Australian Defense Forces.
The previous record number of cases in Victoria was 532, as reported on Monday.
The renewed spread of coronavirus gave a new blow to the Australian economy, with NAB's quarterly survey of small and medium-sized enterprises showing a record decline in confidence, conditions and capacity utilization.
"The deterioration was broad-based across sectors – but the accommodation, cafes and takeaways sector saw a sharp decline of 66 points. Not surprisingly, it is now the weakest sector," said Alan Oster, chief economist at NAB.
Australia has reported a total of more than 16,000 cases of Covid-19.