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Australia's Victoria state reports 2 local COVID-19 cases - Metro US

Australia’s Victoria state reports 2 local COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: A sign regarding mandatory mask wearing is seen on a tram in Melbourne

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Victoria state, which was a coronavirus hotspot until last week, reported two new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Monday.

The new infections follow low single-digit numbers over the weekend and pose little threat to the community as the people were already in isolation, health authorities said.

“The two new locally acquired cases are primary close contacts of existing cases, with no community exposure during their infectious period,” Victoria’s Health Department said.

Australia’s second most-populous state has recorded 94 cases in its latest wave of COVID-19 infections, which triggered a two-week snap lockdown late last month. Victoria emerged from the lockdown on Friday as new cases declined, but some physical-distancing rules remain.

The state expects to announce further easing of COVID-19 restrictions this week, acting Premier James Merlino said on Sunday, as a strict two-week lockdown was successful in taming the virus.

Australia has fared much better than many other developed countries during the pandemic, with more than 22,300 local COVID-19 cases and 910 deaths since March 2020, mostly in Victorian aged-care homes. (Graphic on global cases and deaths) https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi

Snap lockdowns, internal border controls and tough social-distancing rules have helped it contain prior outbreaks.

(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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