Australia’s Victoria reports lowest rise in COVID-19 cases in five weeks

Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria on Friday reported its lowest daily rise in new coronavirus cases in more than five weeks, fuelling optimism that the spread of the virus has further eased. Victoria, which has become the country’s COVID-19 hot spot, logged 179 new cases in the last 24 hours, compared with 240 a day earlier. The state reported nine deaths from the virus, versus 13 fatalities on the previous day. A flare-up in infections forced authorities two weeks ago to impose a nightly curfew and shut large parts of the state’s economy but new daily cases have slowed in recent days, allaying fears of a nationwide second wave.

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