Asia Today: Melbourne eases lockdown as cases drop


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Melbourne Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, has eased lockdown restrictions as new and active COVID-19 continues to decline.

Starting at midnight Sunday, Melbourne residents will have no restrictions on the time they can spend away from their homes for education or entertainment. Previous restrictions that allowed Melbourne residents to travel only 5 kilometers (3 miles) from home would increase in the middle of the night to 25 kilometers (15 miles).

Outdoor gatherings are permitted for up to 10 people from two families and golf and tennis can be resumed.

The state of Victoria reported only two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and no deaths. The 14-day average of cases dropped to eight, the lowest in four months.

There were only 137 active cases across Victoria on Sunday with 12 people receiving hospital treatment, and none of them were in intensive care.

Regulations will be eased further on November 2 with the partial reopening of stores, bars and restaurants.

On other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

India added 61,871 new confirmed cases during the past 24 hours, bringing the number to about 7.5 million. On Sunday, the Ministry of Health recorded 1,033 new deaths, raising the death toll to 114,031. The country continues its downward trend in new cases, but deaths related to the virus jumped after recording the lowest daily number at 680 in nearly three months on Friday. Some experts say India’s numbers may not be reliable due to poor reporting and insufficient health infrastructure. India also relies heavily on antigen tests, which are faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests. Health officials have warned that the virus may spread during the religious holiday season, which begins late this month. New Delhi is also preparing for high levels of air pollution, which makes fighting the Coronavirus even more complicated in the coming months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked officials to set up cold storage chains and a distribution network for vaccine delivery similar to elections, with the participation of all levels of government and citizen groups. According to Indian officials, three vaccines are in advanced stages of development.

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Follow the Associated Press epidemiological coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak And the https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.


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