As the number of coronavirus cases worldwide approached 18 million on Sunday, a state of disaster was declared in the Australian state of Victoria, with the local government implementing a nighttime curfew as part of its most severe restrictions. stricter to date to contain the virus.
State Premier Daniel Andrews said the new restrictions, which will be in place for six weeks until mid-September, will allow only one person per household to shop once a day.
A daily 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will also be in place from Sunday evening in Melbourne, the state capital, preventing the city’s nearly five million people from leaving their homes except to work or to receive or give care.
“If we don’t make these changes, we’re not going to get away with it,” Andrews said as quoted by The Associated Press. “We need to do more. That is what these decisions are about. “
Victoria reported 671 infections, one of its highest, and seven deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday.
Meanwhile, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa have passed the half-million mark, its health ministry said on Saturday.
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and the stories that matter, delivered on weekday mornings.
The country has registered 10,107 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 503,290, according to the ministry.
The cases in South Africa, which has the fifth-highest total in the world, overwhelmed an already strained health system, but President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday he was seeing “promising signs” that the rapid growth of case had stabilized and the country’s health system was strained. manages to cope.
In India, which has the third highest number of cases in the world, Home Secretary Amit Shah was hospitalized after catching the coronavirus, he said in a tweet on Sunday, becoming the top politician in the world. country to test positive for the disease.
Shah, a close associate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, heads a ministry that has been at the forefront of managing the epidemic.
India has so far reported more than 1.7 million confirmed cases, behind the United States and Brazil, and 37,364 deaths, according to its health officials.
“I ask everyone who has come in contact with me in recent days to isolate you and get tested,” Shah said.
China, where the pandemic first appeared, reported 49 new cases on Sunday, 33 of which were transmitted locally.
It comes after 45 cases were reported on Friday, a significant drop from 127 new cases recorded a day earlier – the highest number of new cases since March 5.
Three imported cases have been recorded in Hubei province, the first epicenter of the pandemic.
Also on Sunday, seven Chinese health officials arrived in Hong Kong, which its chief Carrie Lam said earlier this week was on the brink of a large-scale epidemic after seeing an increase in locally transmitted coronavirus cases in July. .
They are the first members of a team of 60 from mainland China who will help with anti-epidemic work in the city, starting with the construction of a temporary laboratory to speed up testing.
Lam’s government on Sunday quelled rumors that the genetic data used in the tests would be sent to the mainland, saying all virus tests would only be done in Hong Kong.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.