Australia’s Victoria sees record daily surge in Covid-19 cases

Covid-19 infections in Australia’s Victoria hit a pandemic record on Thursday as Melbourne, the state capital, looks to exit its lockdown next week, several days ahead of plan, helped by a faster-than-expected vaccine uptake.

The surge in daily cases comes as Victoria nears the 70% threshold for double-dose vaccinations among eligible adults, when authorities have promised to end a months-long lockdown, against the original Oct. 26 forecast.

Victoria logged 2,297 new cases on Thursday, the highest number of any state or territory in the country since the pandemic began. Eleven new deaths were recorded.

Most new cases were detected in Melbourne, with the city now clearly at the centre of the country’s Delta outbreak.Sydney, where the first case was detected in mid-June, continued a downward trend in new cases.

Daily infections in New South Wales eased further to 406 on Thursday, the majority in Sydney, well down from the state’s pandemic high of 1,599 hit in early September.