Australia reports 372 new COVID-19 cases, 5 new deaths

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CANBERRA, July 25 (Xinhua) — Australia’s COVID-19 new cases and death toll continue to rise as the second most populated state of Victoria struggles to contain a second wave of the virus.

As of Saturday afternoon there had been 13,950 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia and the number of new cases in the last 24 hours is 372, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.

Of the new cases, 357 were in Victoria and 15 in New South Wales (NSW).

There were another five deaths in Victoria between Friday and Saturday — four women in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s respectively and one man in his 80s — taking the national death toll to 145 and Victoria’s to 61, the most of any state or territory.

“Within Victoria, 37 of the new cases are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 320 are under investigation,” said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria on Saturday.

The department also said that 3,995 cases are currently active in Victoria, and 229 cases of coronavirus are in hospital, including 42 in intensive care.

Despite the number of new daily cases in Victoria remaining above 300, the state’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton said he was hopeful that a move to make face masks mandatory from Thursday would help in the fight against the second wave of infections.

“The fact that we have got universal mask usage now, really, for the community, both going out of your home but also in all of the workplaces that people are attending, that is something that will address both these high risk settings, but also every other workplace,” he said.

“I am hopeful and really keen to see what the effects of universal mask wearing might be.” Enditem

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