The state of Victoria, where the capital Melbourne has been struck with a second virus wave, recorded 19 new deaths on Monday, with 14 of the deaths connected to outbreaks at aged care facilities. While daily deaths rose there, the state saw its lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections since July 29, reporting 322 new cases.
The latest figures did not include new infections and deaths from other Australian states, although Victoria has been accounting for the vast majority of both in recent weeks.
Melbourne entered a second lockdown over a month ago.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the data showing that cases are stabilizing in Victoria has made him more hopeful now than he has been at any time over the past week.
But state premier Daniel Andrews cautioned that not too much could be read into a single day’s worth of data, and that some of the state’s most stringent lockdown measures had only come into effect at midnight Sunday.
The outbreak in Melbourne accounts for 70% of Australia’s total infections, the BBC reported. More than 100 deaths were recorded in Victoria in the past week.
Australia has reported more than 21,000 infections and more than 300 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.