Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that he was confident a coronavirus flare-up in Sydney, the country’s biggest city, was under control, but he acknowledged a larger spike in cases in Melbourne remained a challenge.
The state of Victoria, whose capital Melbourne is under a reimposed six-week lockdown, reported a record 723 new infections on Thursday followed by 627 on Friday.
The state now accounts for more than half of the country’s 190 deaths from the coronavirus and about 60 per cent of the nation’s 16,304 cases.
The majority of Victoria’s fresh cases are in Melbourne, Australia’s second biggest city.
“The level of community outbreak and community transmission in Victoria is the great challenge down there,” Mr Morrison said on 2GB radio. “And there’s still a lot of work to do and we’re not on top of it yet.”
He said New South Wales, home to Sydney, had contained the spread of the virus from outbreaks at pubs, restaurants and aged-care homes thanks to better contact tracing than in Victoria.
“The key difference is that in NSW … there are no cases that have an unknown source. None,” he said, noting that Victoria has had around 50 cases a day with no known source.