Australia: Victoria reports record coronavirus infections

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 16, 2020, 04.29 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( AFP )

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Australia coronavirus news: Victoria also confirmed two deaths, taking the state's toll to 29 and the national fatality count to 113

Australia's second-most populous state of Victoria, which is already witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases, on Thursday reported 317 new cases, its highest rise in infections in the 24-hour-period. 

The state has been isolated from rest of the country for over a week after a fresh outbreak of the deadly virus. Victoria's capital Melbourne is placed under lockdown and people are allowed to go outside only for essential services. 

Also read | Australia struggles with coronavirus as Victoria becomes new epicenter

Victoria also confirmed two deaths, taking the state's toll to 29 and the national fatality count to 113. 

Also read | Australian pub cluster reports almost half of cases; fears of second-wave continue

The record rise in cases came as the Australian government declared a further A$2 billion ($1.4 billion) plan for wage subside and training programs to counter spiraling unemployment in the country.

The unemployment this month in Australia jumped to 7.4 per cent from 7.1 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

Meanwhile, Australia started deporting New Zealanders on "character grounds" despite a halt in such actions due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The policy has angered New Zealand who has repeatedly said that such people spent majority of their lives in Australia and have minor connection with Kiwis. 

Group deportations had been paused in Australia since March when the country closed its borders and banned nearly all international travel to control the pandemic. 

The Australian Border Force (ABF) on Thursday said it had sent back 31 New Zealanders this week on "character grounds", which as per law doesn't require a criminal conviction.