Australia

Victoria records 12 local coronavirus cases as the state again braces for lockdown

Victoria has recorded 12 locally-acquired coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, as the state braces itself for a new lockdown aimed at curbing the growing outbreak in Melbourne’s north. 

One of the 12 cases was included in Wednesday’s figures, and takes the total number of active cases in the state to 34.

The number of cases linked to the Whittlesea cluster rose to 26, from 15 on Wednesday.

More than 40,000 COVID tests were undertaken in the last 24 hours.

There are now 79 exposure sites listed on the Victorian Health Department’s website, including the MCG and Marvel Stadium. Three inner-suburban nightclubs remain a “concern”.

The exposure sites are spread across more than 30 Melbourne suburbs and regional Bendigo, Cohuna and Red Hill.

A lockdown is widely expected to be announced during a state government press conference on Thursday. 

The ABC and NewsCorp are reporting the lockdown could last for up to a week, and will be closer to a stage 3 level lockdown.

Schools are likely to be shut and people will be afforded only four reasons to leave home, The Herald Sun reports.

Genomic sequencing shows the City of Whittlesea outbreak is linked to the case of a Wollert man, who contracted the virus in quarantine in South Australia earlier this month.

SA on Wednesday became the first state to close its border to residents of Greater Melbourne. NSW and Queensland are urging residents to reconsider travel to the city and parts of regional Victoria.

With AAP. 

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