MELBOURNE, Australia — A COVID-19 outbreak in the north of Melbourne has led health authorities in Australia’s Victoria state to hold off on any further easing of restrictions in the beleaguered city.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews withheld any announcement on an easing on Sunday as the state awaits results on 3,000 people who were tested in the city’s north in the past 24 hours.
He described it as a “cautious pause” – not a setback – to rule out there wasn’t widespread community transmission linked to the cluster.
Among the current restrictions are mandatory wearing of masks and no traveling beyond 25 kilometers (15 miles) from home. At the start of the second wave of cases two months ago, Andrews instituted an overnight curfew and shut down most businesses.
“I know it is frustrating,” Andrews said. “I know people are keen to have a long and detailed list of changes to the rules. It is not appropriate for us to do that now.”″
Victoria reported seven new coronavirus cases on Sunday, with six linked to the latest outbreak, which involves 39 people across 11 households.
No additional deaths kept the state toll at 817 and the national toll at 905.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Surging coronavirus colors White House race in closing days
— Europe, US watch case totals grow, debate new restrictions
— Colombia reaches 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases
— Iran’s supreme leader has urged authorities to prioritize public health above any economic or security concerns, amid the Mideast’s worst outbreak of the coronavirus. Iran’s death toll from the global pandemic topped 32,000 this week.
— Pope Francis met with the Spanish prime minister Saturday at the Vatican, which has had a rash of COVID-19 infections confirmed in recent days, but neither man used a face a mask during the public part of their meeting.
— Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for the coronavirus; apologizes to those in quarantine because of contact, including Poland’s recent French Open winner.
— Police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown to slow a surging rate of coronavirus infections.
Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan authorities have terminated a number of passenger trains and widened the curfew as COVID-19 cases related to a new cluster at a garment factory continue to surge.
The Railway Department canceled at least 16 trains — mostly ran through busy office hours — after the number of commuters declined due to the curfew imposed in many parts of the country.
More than a dozen villages are isolated in densely populated Western province, which includes capital Colombo.
Authorities last week closed the island’s main fish market on Colombo’s outskirts after 49 traders tested positive for the coronavirus. By Sunday, the number of cases from the fish