SYDNEY (XINHUA) – The Australian state of Victoria, where Covid-19 restrictions are being wound back as vaccination rates steadily rise, has seen the daily rate of new cases remaining stubbornly high.
The health authorities on Friday (Oct 29) announced 1,656 more cases and 10 deaths during the previous 24-hour period. Overall, the state has 23,730 active cases of the Delta variant of the virus, with the bulk of the outbreak being in the capital of Melbourne.
The authorities on Friday also announced 78 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over were now fully vaccinated with the state expected to hit its 80 per cent target later that day or during the weekend.
With the milestone achieved, the state will ease more restrictions from Friday.
People will no longer need to wear masks outdoors. Most gyms, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will reopen and people will be allowed to travel between Melbourne and regional areas.
All school children are to return to classrooms after long months of remote learning.
The neighbouring state of New South Wales reported 268 new cases and two deaths in the 24 hours up to Thursday. The state’s 86.5 per cent of its eligible population was now fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Queensland recorded zero new cases during the past day. Health authorities there are urging people to get vaccinated before the state reopens its border to New South Wales in seven weeks.
As of Friday, 62.39 per cent of the eligible Queenslanders were fully vaccinated.