MELBOURNE | Australia announced Wednesday, 502 new cases of coronavirus, is the highest figure ever recorded on the island-continent, the authorities say that the country we are now entering a critical phase.
The vast majority of cases have been identified in the past 24 hours in the State of Victoria (south), with large outbreaks in Melbourne and its suburbs, which are submitted for almost two weeks to new measures of containment.
The previous peak of the epidemic was dated 28 march, when 459 cases had been registered, according to figures compiled by AFP.
The country was subsequently able to contain the spread of the virus, to the point that the restrictions had been lifted. As New Zealand’s neighbour, Australia, had been applauded for its effective crisis management.
On Wednesday, the premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews has made state-of-484 new cases and two new deaths.
Australia now totals nearly 13 000 cases of COVID-19, a disease that has been 128 deaths in this country of 25 million inhabitants.
As of midnight Wednesday evening, the inhabitants of Melbourne will be required to wear a mask when they go out of their homes, at the risk of hurt if they do not have a fine of $ 200 australian ($192 per).
“In no case out of the woods”
But Mr Andrews has estimated that changes in behaviour were needed.
A study has shown that 90% of patients diagnosed in the past two weeks had not had the reflex to isolate between the time where they had felt symptoms, and where they had done a test.
More than half of new patients have not seen quarantine strict at home waiting for their results.
Mr. Andrews explained that many agency workers may not get sick were particularly worried about the fall of income due to contamination.
However, he recalled that they could ask for the help of exceptional public 1 500 AUD if they got sick.
The authorities are worried about more and more of the spread of the disease within the most vulnerable populations due to outbreaks in retirement homes. In six prisons, inmates were confined to their cells because a guard had been declared positive.
This new wave hit the hopes of a quick economic recovery in a country which is expected to see its first recession in 30 years, due to the coronavirus.
Investigations made public this week showed that the recovery of the epidemic was probably related to shortcomings in the hotels where the people back in Australia to conduct their quarantine.
The neighbouring States have closed their borders with Victoria, but cases have, however, been detected in New South Wales.
The first minister of that State, Gladys Berejiklian, has presented the next few weeks as “the most critical” for several months.
Sydney has several foci of contamination, that the authorities believe are linked to the visit in a pub a man from Melbourne who had been contaminated.
“We are not out of the woods, quite the contrary,” said Ms Berejiklian in a press conference.
Sixteen new cases were announced Wednesday in New South Wales, one in Queensland and one in South Australia.