Victoria records zero new cases of coronavirus, as NZ locked down again

Victoria has recorded zero new cases of coronavirus as New Zealand begins the first day of a seven-day lockdown of Auckland after the emergence of a mystery case.

Victoria’s health department said 7,440 tests were undertaken in the last 24 hours, with the number of active cases having fallen to 15.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a seven-day lockdown of Auckland after the emergence of a “mystery” case involving a man who moved through the community for a week when he should have been isolating.

From 6am on Sunday, all schools will move to remote learning, anyone who can work from home must do so and businesses can only operate for online purchases or click and collect.

The rest of New Zealand will be put into “Level 2” restrictions that limit public gatherings, among others, Ardern told a news conference on Saturday evening.

Residents in Melbourne’s west were also put on alert on Saturday after coronavirus fragments were detected in the wastewater catchment of eleven suburbs earlier this week.

The Premier announced on Friday mask-wearing rules have been loosened under new restrictions in VictoriaCredit:Getty Images

Weak fragments were found on Monday in the wastewater catchment for Taylors Hill, Plumpton, Hillside, Sydenham, Delahey, Caroline Springs, Burnside Heights, Kings Park, Albanvale, Burnside and Deer Park.

The Department of Health stated on Saturday that further testing had confirmed the existence of the viral fragments and called on anyone in the city’s west with any symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested.

Although fragments may indicate a historic case of viral “shedding”, they have in the past been linked to active cases.

Gathering limits and mask-wearing rules were loosened under new restrictions, which came into effect in Victoria overnight on Friday.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced eased restrictions that allow up to 30 people at private gatherings and 100 at outdoor gatherings, 75 per cent of workers in offices and masks to be worn only in high-density settings such as public transport and supermarkets.

The announcement came after two cases were recorded on Friday, both were close contacts of existing cases linked to the Holiday Inn cluster, who were already in isolation, posing no threat to the wider community.

More to come

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