Australia has recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic amid a second wave of infections in Melbourne.
Nineteen deaths were reported in Victoria – of which Melbourne is the capital – on Monday.
Victoria has now seen about two-thirds of Australia’s total 314 deaths and approximately 21,400 infections.
But the rate of daily infections – though still in the hundreds – has dropped in recent days, prompting hope that a strict lockdown is working.
Melbourne’s second lockdown began over a month ago, but residents have been subject to a night-time curfew and stricter requirements since 3 August.
Workers must carry a permit to leave home, and all non-essential businesses have been shut. Mask-wearing in public is also compulsory.
Victoria reported 322 new cases on Monday, down from a high of 725 recorded five days ago. Other states reported few or no cases.
More than 100 deaths have been recorded in Victoria in just the past week as hospital admission rates also rise.
Victoria’s daily cases
Stage 4 lockdown began 3 Aug
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it was too early to tell if the state was a