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COVID-19 cases down in Australia, up in New Zealand


Cars line up at a COVID-19 testing facility in Auckland, New Zealand, on Aug. 13, 2020.

AP Photo

The coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, calmed down on Thursday after a decline in infections, although the state’s prime minister asked the population to remain vigilant.

Daniel Andrews reported 278 new cases and eight deaths, from the 700 daily infections recorded at the peak of the outbreak, noting that the decline indicates that the restrictions in Melbourne are working, but urged residents to continue to respect them.

In neighboring New Zealand, the first recorded community outbreak in more than three months rose to 17 patients on Thursday and is expected to continue growing.

Health authorities were still working to trace the origin of the outbreak, and the quarantine imposed in Auckland could be extended beyond the three days initially announced. Before the detection of positives earlier in the week, the country went 102 days without reporting cases of local transmission. The rest of his patients were travelers who passed a quarantine after returning from abroad.

For its part, South Korea reported 56 new infections while it continues to register new outbreaks in its main cities. Figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increased the national total of cases to 14,770, with 305 deaths.

New local cases in China rose to 8 on Thursday, all in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, while Hong Kong saw another spike in infections, with 62 in the last day, and in deaths, with five more.

China recorded 11 other infections in citizens returning from abroad, the National Health Commission explained.