MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has lifted lockdown restrictions as new and active COVID-19 continues to decline.
From midnight on Sunday, Melbourne residents will no longer face time constraints that they can spend away from their homes for education or recreation. Previous restrictions that allowed Melburnians to travel only 5 kilometers (3 miles) from home would increase from midnight to 25 kilometers (15 miles).
Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from two households are allowed and golf and tennis can be continued.
The state of Victoria reported only two new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and no one was killed. The rolling 14-day average of cases dropped to eight, the lowest in four months.
There were only 137 active cases across the state of Victoria on Sunday with 12 people receiving hospital treatment, not in intensive care.
The regulations will be further relaxed on November 2 with the partial opening of shops, bars and restaurants.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
– Thailand closes all border crossings between the northern province of Tak and Myanmar after five people in Thailand’s Mae Sot border town tested positive for coronavirus. Five, none of whom showed symptoms, were the first locally delivered cases confirmed in Thailand since early September, when a prison inmate was positive. The five are members of a Myanmar family living in Thailand. Two were first confirmed to be affected and added to the total Thai case on Saturday, while three were officially added on Sunday. Among the cases found in people quarantined after coming from abroad, seven additions on Sunday brought Thailand’s total number of cases to 3,686, including 59 deaths.
– India has added 61,871 new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, increasing its total to almost 7.5 million. The Health Ministry on Sunday also registered 1,033 new casualties, killing 114,031. The country is continuing a downward trend in new cases, but virus-related casualties jumped after recording the lowest daily figure of 680 in nearly three months on Friday. Some experts say India’s numbers may be unreliable due to poor reporting and inadequate health infrastructure. India also relies heavily on antigen tests, which are faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests. Health officials have warned of the potential for the virus to spread during religious celebrations starting this month. New Delhi is also preparing for high levels of air pollution, making the coronavirus fight even more complicated in the coming months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked officials to prepare cold storage chains and distribution networks for vaccine delivery along with election conduct lines, involving all levels of government and citizen groups. According to Indian officials, three vaccines are in the advanced stages of development.
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