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Coronavirus

Australian State Logs 73 Cases ahead of Lockdown

MELBOURNE, Australia — An Australian state leader has welcomed “some sense of stability” in numbers of new coronavirus cases detected daily in the nation’s second largest city as more than 300,000 residents prepare to be locked down for a month.

There were 73 confirmed cases in Melbourne in 24-hours to Wednesday, up from 64 reported on Tuesday but less than 75 on Monday.

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews says “it is pleasing that there is some sense of stability to these numbers. There is the beginning of some consistency here.”

He said a “significant concentration” of the new cases were in the 36 hot spot suburbs that will be locked down from Wednesday night until July 29 in a bid to halt the spread.

Thousands of officials conducted more than 20,000 tests in Melbourne since Tuesday, going door-to-door and through dozens of testing centers in the targeted suburbs.

Some of the infections were spread from staff who had supervised travelers who had been held in hotel quarantine for two weeks on arrival from overseas.

Andrews says a judge would be appointed to investigate “unacceptable infection control breaches in hotel quarantine.”

He says international flights would not be allowed to land in Melbourne for two weeks because of those breaches.

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