Australia’s COVID-19 hotspot reports two new local cases

A woman walks past a “Stay Safe Melbourne” sign on a largely empty downtown street on the first day of a seven-day lockdown as the state of Victoria tries to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). in Melbourne, Australia, May 28, 2021. REUTERS / Sandra Sanders / File Photo

Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, reported two new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Sunday, begging the question of how long a tough lockdown that ended on Jan.

The outbreak, which began in late May after a man who tested negative in Adelaide hotel quarantine returned to Melbourne and tested positive, reported two new local cases, bringing Victoria’s total to 72, including one restored Case.

The health authorities are particularly alarmed this week about the emergence of the highly infectious Delta variant. They have so far been unable to trace the source, raising concerns that the Melbourne lockdown may need to be extended.

The Delta variant, classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the four worrying COVID-19 variants because it spreads more easily, is likely to have caused the most recent devastating outbreak in India.

Australia has been relatively successful in controlling the virus with snap locks, strict border restrictions, and social distancing. Victoria accounts for two-thirds of the more than 30,100 COVID-19 cases and 90% of the 910 deaths in the country since the pandemic began last year.

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