Australia

Victoria records another 165 coronavirus cases as second Melbourne lockdown begins

People wearing personal protective equipment are seen after entering a public housing tower in Flemington, Melbourne, Thursday, July 9, 2020 Source: AAP

Victoria has recorded another 165 new COVID-19 infections.

Victoria has recorded another 165 new cases of coronavirus, as nearly five million people around Melbourne begin their first day back in Stage 3 lockdown.

It's the fourth day of new cases in the triple-digits, with the state's overall total now 3098.

Of the new cases announced on Thursday, 30 are linked to known outbreaks and 135 are under investigation. No cases have been detected in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

There are 18 new cases linked to the North Melbourne and Flemington public housing towers, with 111 there in total. Testing concluded at the estates on Wednesday night.

Residents there have been in a hard lockdown since Saturday afternoon, unable to leave their apartments due to fears the high-density "vertical cruise ships" have "explosive potential" to spread COVID-19.

Six of the new cases are linked to an outbreak at Al-Taqwa College in Truganina, which has become the state's biggest cluster totalling 113 people.

Two healthcare workers at Sunshine Hospital and two at the Royal Melbourne Hospital have also tested positive, with contact tracing underway.

Seven new cases are staff members at aged care facilities across Melbourne.

Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to face the media later on Thursday.

As Melburnians entered their first day of a second lockdown on Thursday, Queensland announced it would bar Victorians from entering from Friday.

Despite flagging the possibility of harder restrictions on towns along its border with Victoria, the NSW government said on Thursday it would hold off on doing so for now.

The NSW-Victoria border was closed for the first time in 100 years on Tuesday night as part of an effort to stop Melbourne’s coronavirus outbreak spreading further. 

South Australia's border with Victoria is now closed, with only people returning home and essential travellers allowed to cross into the state.

Residents in affected public housing towers who need access to support and assistance should call the Housing Call Centre on 1800 961 054. If you need a translator, first call 131 450. Both services are 24/7. More information can be found here.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus  

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