Australia’s COVID-19 hotspot reports triple digit new cases for first time in four days

Australia’s Victoria state on Thursday reported a triple digit rise in new COVID-19 infections for the first time in four days, denting optimism that a second wave of cases has been contained. Victoria state said 113 new cases were detected in the past 24 hours, up on the 90 infections reported on Wednesday. Australia has now recorded more than 26,000 COVID-19 cases, while the death toll rose to 678 after 15 people in Victoria state died from the virus. Victoria’s capital Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, is in its fifth week of a six-week lockdown. Authorities are scheduled to detail a timetable for easing curbs on Sunday. Though strict restrictions have helped to prevent the spread of the virus beyond Victoria, they have wreaked havoc on the economy with official data on Wednesday showing Australia had entered its first recession in three decades.

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