George Russell in Hong Kong
Australian health officials have raised concerns that a second wave of coronavirus largely confined to Victoria, the country’s second most populous state, could spread along the coast to New South Wales and Queensland.
“We are seeing signs of community transmission in both New South Wales and Queensland, and we have put additional restrictions in place,” said Alison McMillan, head of nursing and midwifery in Australia.
Victoria recorded 73 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, its lowest daily total since July 3. However, the state’s death toll rose to 41 due to the inclusion of 22 previously unregistered nursing home cases.
State Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said it was too early to come up with a roadmap towards lifting the restrictions. “Another week of data is critical,” he said on Monday. “The numbers are too high for us to open. “
Driver is tested for coronavirus in Ballarat, a regional Victorian town which recorded no new cases on Monday © Getty Images
NSW recorded 10 cases Monday after seven Sunday, as a group around a downtown gym grew. Sydney public transport officials are on high alert after an apparent case of transmission between two passengers on the bus.
“Transmission in Sydney’s CBD is of concern,” Ms McMillan said in remarks posted on the Australian Department of Health website Monday.
Queensland, with its sun and tropical beaches, is a popular destination for schoolies, the Australian equivalent of American Spring Break for students.
But the state government canceled all of those celebrations by enforcing new weekend restrictions on the tourism-dependent Gold Coast, limiting social gatherings and locking down senior care homes.