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Australia coronavirus deaths pass 800 but new daily infections fall

Deaths related to the coronavirus in Australia reached 803 on Saturday, but new daily infections in the country's largest hot spot continued to fall.
Victoria state, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported six new deaths related to the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 716, or more than 90% of all deaths in Australia.
However, new cases in the country's second-most populous state continued to fall from a peak of more than 700 in a single day in early August. It reported 37 new cases on Saturday, its lowest since late June.
The state, home to one-quarter of Australia's 25 million people, now accounts for about 75% of the country's more than 26,500 COVID-19 cases and its capital, Melbourne, has been under a strict lockdown for weeks.
The lockdown, which was initially to end on Sunday, has been extended for another two weeks.
"You can only keep numbers low if you first drive them down to very low levels," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told a televised news briefing. "That is exactly what is happening and that is good news. It is challenging out there and I know it is difficult, but the strategy is working."
Neighboring New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reported six new cases. There have been isolated cases in Queensland in recent weeks, but the virus has been effectively eliminated in other states and territories.


© Thomson Reuters 2020.
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