Australia’s coronavirus hotspot reports decrease in new cases

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A second wave of infections in Australia’s coronavirus hotspot, the state of Victoria, eased further on Wednesday as authorities look to loosen lockdown restrictions that have shut large swathes of the state’s economy.

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Australia’s second-most populous state reported 90 new coronavirus cases, its third straight day of double-digit new cases, indicating the strict lockdown measures are reducing the infection rate.

Last month daily new infections peaked at more than 700.

Melbourne, the state’s capital and Australia’s second-largest city, has entered its fourth week of a six-week lockdown with authorities scheduled to detail on Sunday the timetable for easing curbs.

Though strict restrictions have helped to contain the spread of the virus, it wreaked havoc on the economy with official data due later on Wednesday expected to show the country has entered its first recession in three decades.

Australia has detected nearly 26,000 infections since the pandemic began, with Victoria accounting for about 75 percent of those cases. The national death tally rose to 663 after Victoria reported six deaths in the last 24 hours.

Queensland state recorded two new COVID-19 cases, both linked to existing cases.

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