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Melbourne facilitates lockdown when cases fall

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, has loosened restrictions as the new and active COVID-19 continues to decline.

From midnight on Sunday, Melbourne residents will no longer have restrictions on the time they can spend away from their homes for education or recreation. Past restrictions that allow Melburnians to travel only 5 kilometers (3 miles) from home increase at midnight to 25 kilometers (15 miles).

Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from two households are allowed and golf and tennis can be resumed.

Victoria State reported only two new cases of COVID-1

9 on Sunday and no deaths. The rolling 14-day average of cases fell to eight, the lowest in four months.

There were only 137 active cases across Victoria State on Sunday with 12 people receiving hospital treatment, none in intensive care.

The regulations will be further relaxed on 2 November with the partial reopening of shops, bars and restaurants.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

– Thailand has closed all border crossings between the northern province of Tak and Myanmar after five people in the Thai border town of Mae Sot tested positive for coronavirus. The five, of which no symptoms showed, are the first locally transferred cases confirmed in Thailand since early September, when a jail was positive. All five are members of a family of Myanmar nationals residing in Thailand. Two were initially confirmed to be affected and added to Saturday’s total number of Thai cases, while three were officially added on Sunday. Together with cases found among people in quarantine after arriving from abroad, seven additions on Sunday brought Thailand’s total number of cases to 3,686, including 59 deaths.

India has added 61,871 new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, increasing the total to around 7.5 million. The Ministry of Health on Sunday also registered 1,033 new deaths, bringing the number of deaths to 114,031. The country continues a downward trend in new cases, but virus-related deaths jumped after recording the lowest daily figure of 680 for nearly three months on Friday. Some experts say that India’s figures may not be reliable due to poor reporting and inadequate health infrastructure. India also relies heavily on antigen testing, which is faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests. Health officials have warned of the potential for the virus to spread during the religious festival season, which begins later this month. New Delhi also supports high levels of air pollution, making the coronavirus fight more complicated in the coming months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked officials to prepare cold storage chains and distribution networks for the delivery of vaccines in the direction of elections involving all levels of government and citizen groups. According to Indian officials, three vaccines are in advanced stages of development.


Follow the AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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