Australia Death Toll Hits Single-Day High With 13, Victoria With 723 Cases

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The refusal of some Australian states to reopen domestic borders to outsiders has highlighted a dilemma set to face the world, as cities, regions or countries emerge from the pandemic at different speeds
The refusal of some Australian states to reopen domestic borders to outsiders has highlighted a dilemma set to face the world, as cities, regions or countries emerge from the pandemic at different speeds AFP / PATRICK HAMILTON

Australia has posted its deadliest day on record since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The country also posted a new record for daily new coronavirus cases, surpassing the previous nationwide record by close to 200 cases. 

The government confirmed the grim news Thursday COVID-19 cases in the country have hit a new record-high with 747 new cases overnight. At least 13 deaths were also recorded, bringing Australia’s coronavirus death toll to 189. Most of the deaths come from an elderly care facility in Victoria hard-hit by the virus. 

The second most populous state has also posted its highest daily cases and deaths since March, with 723 cases from Wednesday. This eclipses the previous record 549 cases set on Monday.

"Today is not a good day. And, as the numbers show, the virus does not discriminate,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement

“It rips through workplaces, sweeps through aged-care settings, cuts through communities – and tragically takes lives with it as it goes."

As community transmission continues to rise in the state, Andrews has mandated all Victorians to wear a face mask while in public starting August 2. He has also banned home visits in certain areas, including Colac-Otway, Surf Coast and Golden Plains. 

Andrews also said the state government will look into workplaces to protect employees, their families and their communities. 

“This is one of the biggest challenges our state has faced. And yet, really, we’re all being asked to make the smallest of sacrifices.“

Some businesses have also imposed restrictions on customers. Woolworths has confirmed Thursday that consumers will be “strongly encouraged to wear face covering” while inside its stores. Victoria stores have already been following this restriction, but starting Monday stores in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland. 

“The guidance is for Woolworths Supermarkets, Woolworths Metro Food Stores, BIG W, Dan Murphy’s, BWS and ALH Hotels,” the company said, as quoted by The Guardian.

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