Sydney, 30 September 2021 (dpa/MIA) — The Australian state of Victoria has topped 1,000 daily coronavirus cases for the first time in the pandemic, marking a huge jump from the 950 cases announced a day earlier.
State health authorities said Thursday that 1,438 cases — all locally transmitted — had been recorded the previous day. Five deaths were recorded.
The figures bring the current number of active cases to just over 11,000.
The head of the state’s Covid-19 response, Jeroen Weimar, said there were now cases in every Melbourne district and that around one-third of cases were due to gatherings during last week’s three-day weekend.
People “dropped their guard” he said, adding that the surge may be a “rogue day” but it could be a trend that continues.
State Premier Dan Andrews urged the public to “make the best decisions” in a press conference after the leap in figures was announced. He added it was “only a matter of weeks” before lockdown was due to end.
Lockdown measures have affected various parts of the state and in particular its capital city Melbourne for weeks. It is currently in its sixth lockdown since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Case numbers in the state only recently overtook neighboring New South Wales, which has seen case numbers start to drop after an apparent plateau.
New South Wales on Thursday reported 941 new cases from its last 24-hour period.
Australia, with a population of 25 million, long sought to eradicate the virus with a zero-Covid strategy, but after failing to contain several Delta variant outbreaks, has largely shifted to achieving vaccination targets as a way out of lockdown.
Both Victoria and New South Wales are eyeing dates in October to pass vaccination milestones and start properly reopening.
More than half of the country’s eligible population has now been fully vaccinated.
Australia has recorded 102,000 cases and around 1,200 deaths since the pandemic began.